The present study seeks to elucidate the relationships between emotional abuse, gender, and age. In the next two subsections, we discuss the literature on the effects of gender and age on emotional abuse. However, there is limited literature on the interplay between these two fundamental constructs in their relationship to emotional abuse.

Therefore, in this study, we investigate the interaction between gender and age in the path to emotional abuse. According to Johnson , there are two main forms of violence.

Some relationships suffer from conflict-related outbursts of violence: Situational or common couple violence. This form of violence is rarer but frequently devastating and often involves economic subordination, threats, isolation, and other control tactics; it is referred to as intimate terrorism or patriarchal terrorism.

With time, the severity of violent behaviors tends to intensify Johnson, However, the relationship of gender to IPV is not as unambiguous and unilateral as was once assumed, i. Recent research suggests some women actively perpetrate violence against their partners, and debates over the gender symmetry of IPV have generated sizeable controversy. A meta-analytic review by Archer found women were slightly more likely to use physical aggression in a relationship; however, men were more likely to inflict an injury.

The majority of the studies included were conducted in the US in the late twentieth century, and roughly half of the sample was students, thus limiting generalizability. Archer also concluded that measures based on acts of violence e. When measures were based on specific acts, more women than men used physical aggression; when measures were based on consequences of aggression, men were more likely than women to injure their partners. IPV among university students appears to occur at excessive rates.

Emotional abuse in intimate relationships: The role of gender and age

Harmed investigated IPV among university students in the US and found relative similarity between the genders: A meta-analysis of female perpetration of IPV within heterosexual relationships by Williams, Ghandour, and Kub looked at different forms of abuse within three populations: The specific types of violence that comprised the categories—physical, sexual, and emotional—were defined by research team and therefore varied in definition, specificity, and severity.

Only 11 of the 62 articles included in the review examined some form of emotional abuse; studies looking at both verbal and psychological abuse were included. Due to methodological and sampling differences across studies, prevalence estimates varied widely and it was not possible to ascertain a developmental trajectory, but within all groups, emotional abuse was the most prevalent form of IPV. In terms of both psychological and physical abuse, there were no statistically significant gender differences. Physical aggression tended to co-exist with psychological aggression.

In contrast to previous research, no gender differences emerged regarding injuries. Straus contends that although violence perpetrated by women may result in fewer fatalities than male-perpetrated IPV, it is a substantial proportion of all injuries and needs to be addressed within the broader framework of ending IPV. Further, violence perpetrated by women, though frequently minor, makes them vulnerable to severe retaliation by men. Despite high perpetration rates across genders, a review has concluded that women are still disproportionately victimized by IPV and more frequently sustain serious injuries Hamberger, Overall, a better understanding of gender effects on IPV is needed as it pertains to emotional abuse.

A few studies have addressed the role of age on IPV, with the focus primarily on physical violence. In a stratified cluster sample of 5, high school students from a study conducted by Coker et al. SDV and forced sex were associated with poorer health-related quality of life, lower life-satisfaction, and more adverse health behaviors both in female victims and male perpetrators Coker et al. The authors collected data by modifying the CTS.

Boys and girls reported similar frequencies of overall violence, but girls reported experiencing more moderate and severe forms of violence along with more acute physical consequences. Girls were much more likely to perceive assaults against them as serious with damaging physical and psychological effects. Boys perceived less negative impact on themselves and the relationship. Younger birth cohorts were at a reduced risk for IPV, after correcting for age and period effects.

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Non-physical abuse was measured as follows: Rates of physical violence rose from age 22 until peaking at age 32 and decreased substantially after age Thus, rates of non-physical abuse were similar between younger and older women: Women appear vulnerable to emotional abuse across the lifespan. Further investigation is warranted to understand these age effects. Moreover, as can be seen from previous research focusing on relationship violence, age and gender are highly interwoven. However, there is limited research that can unfold the complex interaction between gender and age and their relationship to emotional abuse.

Types of Abuse

Therefore, this study aims to explore the answer to the question: This study included participants who were in a relationship for more than a year. The mean duration of the relationship was 33 months, ranging from 13 months to 30 years. Participants were either non-student community members or college students recruited through announcements around a large Midwestern and a large Southwestern university. The email address of the investigator was provided in the flyers that were distributed in classrooms, around the campuses, and throughout the community.

Participants contacted the investigator for answers to their questions and to arrange a time for participation. Before data collection, participants signed consent forms. Participants then completed questionnaires on demographic information and emotional abuse. A demographic questionnaire included questions about basic characteristics of the participants, including age, gender, race, education level, and socioeconomic status. The remaining questions were related to relationship characteristics of the participants, including the duration of the relationship.

In their original study of battered married women, Jacobson and Gottman found severe emotional abuse was more likely to drive women out of a relationship than severe physical abuse. They identified four distinct categories of emotional abuse: Destruction of property was often used as an intimidation tactic, and sadistic behavior toward pets indicated a disregard toward the pain of living beings. Degradation was the most common type of severe emotional abuse, including both public and private insults. The EAQ was based off of this original study.

It has 66 items assessing emotional abuse, each rated on a 4-point frequency scale Never to Very Often. The EAQ has four subscales: Internal consistency for the subscales is. The EAQ was chosen for the current study due to its wide range of different patterns of emotional abuse and its strong psychometric values.

Scale scores were obtained by averaging the items. Higher scores indicated higher levels of experiencing emotional abuse. Data for this study was collected using non-experimental, correlational design. Descriptive statistics for major variables in the study are presented in Table 1. In order to ensure that the data were normally distributed, univariate analysis was conducted.

The skewness and kurtosis estimates and histograms were examined. Additionally, a Shapiro-Wilk test for normality was performed. Examining the distribution of the variables on emotion regulation and age indicated a slightly right skewed distribution with unsatisfactory normality. Therefore, these variables were transformed in order to avoid violating the normality assumptions. The necessary transformation was carried out by taking the natural logarithm of the variables.

After transformation, the emotion regulation and age variables satisfied normality assumptions. Correlations among the major variables, as well as their means and standard deviations, are shown in Table 1. As seen in Table 1 , almost all correlations among various measures were in the expected direction. Table 2 presents the gendered correlations between major variables. Please note that correlations in bold represent males, while correlations in regular font represent females.

In order to test the moderation effect, multigroup analysis was used. The multigroup model consisted of two groups: Two models, namely the unconstrained and fully-constrained models, were examined for the multigroup analysis for females and males. The fully-constrained model is the one where all estimated parameters are required to be equal across groups, while the unconstrained model is the one where estimated parameters are allowed to differ Byrne, Motivated by these results, we examined the structural path parameters to further understand the relationship between age and emotional abuse for each gender.

However, this path was not significant for females. These results are shown in Figure 1. As can be seen in the figure, the differences in age affect the experience of emotional abuse differently for males and females. For example, older males tended to report experiencing lower rates of emotional abuse as compared to younger males. Moreover, they tended to report similarly with older females. On the other hand, younger males reported the highest overall rates of emotional abuse, while younger females reported higher rates of emotional abuse that tended to decrease as they aged.

Older females reported the lowest overall rates of emotional abuse. Detailed analyses were conducted to further understand the moderation effect for each specific domain of emotional abuse. The results of these analyses are shown in Figure 2. As can be seen in Figure 3 , the differences in age affect the experience of emotional abuse, particularly isolation and property damage, differently for males and females.

In general, females reported experiencing more isolation as compared to males. Younger females reported having the highest rates of isolation, while older males reported having the lowest rates of isolation. Older males tended to report experiencing lower rates of isolation as compared to younger males. Similarly, Figure 4 showed that the difference in age affects the experience of property damage differently for males and females. The baseline for experiencing property damage was quite different for males and females: While the rate of experiencing property damage did not differ much between younger and older males, older females tended to report experiencing higher rates of property damage.

The current study primarily aimed to investigate the role of gender on emotional abuse. There have been various studies investigating emotional and physical abuse against women, while research on emotional abuse against men is quite limited.

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A friend who is being abused needs you to listen and support without judging. It takes courage to admit being abused. Your friend also needs your encouragement to get help immediately from an adult, such as a parent, family member, or health professional. If you think you're in an abusive relationship, it's time to get out of it. Confide in someone, such as a parent, trusted adult, health provider, or friend. Let them support you and help you end the relationship and stay safe. If you have been physically harmed, get medical attention or call the police.

Get help from a counselor or therapist if you feel confused or unsure of whether you're in an abusive relationship. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. More on this topic for: Teens Am I in a Healthy Relationship? If you have been sexually assaulted, first try to get to a safe place away from the attacker. You may be scared, angry and confused, but remember the abuse was in no way your fault. Remember there is always help. Financial abuse can be very subtle. It can include telling you what you can and cannot buy or requiring you to share control of your bank accounts.

At no point does someone you are dating have the right to use money or how you spend it to control you.

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  • If your partner does any of these things, you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. If you are not in control over your finances, or if your partner has removed money from your bank account, it can seem very scary to leave an abusive relationship.


    Digital dating abuse is the use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated online. It is never okay for someone to do or say anything that makes you feel bad, lowers your self-esteem or manipulates you. You may be experiencing digital abuse if your partner:. You never deserve to be mistreated, online or off. You are being stalked when a person repeatedly watches, follows or harasses you, making you feel afraid or unsafe. A stalker can be someone you know, a past partner or a stranger.

    While the actual legal definition varies from one state to another, here are some examples of what stalkers may do:. You may also have trouble sleeping or concentrating at work or school.

    10 Relationship Red Flags of Abuse

    Remember, you are not alone. Every year in the United States, 3. Most people assume that stalkers are strangers, but actually, three in four victims are harassed by someone they know. You should also write down the times, places and dates all incidents occurred. Include the names and contact information of people who witnessed what happened. These reactions are normal. Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call loveisrespect at or TTY Physical Abuse Physical abuse is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body.

    Examples of physical abuse include: Scratching, punching, biting, strangling or kicking. Throwing something at you such as a phone, book, shoe or plate. Pushing or pulling you. Using a gun, knife, box cutter, bat, mace or other weapon. Smacking your bottom without your permission or consent. Forcing you to have sex or perform a sexual act. Grabbing your face to make you look at them. Grabbing you to prevent you from leaving or to force you to go somewhere. Escaping Physical Abuse Start by learning that you are not alone. If you are in a similar situation: Realize this behavior is wrong.

    Remember that physical abuse is never your fault. Protecting Yourself from Physical Abuse Unhealthy or abusive relationships usually get worse. There are many behaviors that qualify as emotional or verbal abuse, including: Calling you names and putting you down.

    Emotional abuse in intimate relationships: The role of gender and age

    Yelling and screaming at you. Intentionally embarrassing you in public. Preventing you from seeing or talking with friends and family. Telling you what to do and wear.