The authors wish to thank Karen C. Hartley, doctoral student in communication studies at Kent State University for assisting in data collection. This research was supported by the Kent State University Research Council with a summer research appointment awarded to the second author.
Verbal Aggression in Marriages A Comparison of Violent, Distressed but Nonviolent, and Nondistressed Couples
Article first published online: 17 MAR 2006
Human Communication Research
Volume 20, Issue 2, pages 245–267, December 1993
How to Cite
SABOURIN, T. C., INFANTE, D. A. and RUDD, J. (1993), Verbal Aggression in Marriages A Comparison of Violent, Distressed but Nonviolent, and Nondistressed Couples. Human Communication Research, 20: 245–267. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.1993.tb00323.x
- Issue published online: 17 MAR 2006
- Article first published online: 17 MAR 2006
This study examines verbal aggression in the disputes of abusive couples. Verbal aggression is defined as both a predispositional trait and a relational pattern, so it is viewed within a system theory framework. Specifically, the study considers the relationship between verbal aggression and marital distress, the level of agreement between couples in reporting their verbally aggressive behavior, and the level and type of reciprocity in their verbal aggression. A sample of 82 couples representing violent, nonviolent distressed, and nondistressed relationships completed self-report instruments on verbal aggression and argumentativeness for themselves and their spouses and marital satisfactionfor themselves. Results show that abusive couples experience less marital satisfaction, less accurately recall each other's behavior, and have significant reciprocity in their verbal aggression compared to nonviolent distressed and nondistressed couples.