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Crime at Home and in the Streets - The Relationship Between Family and Stranger Violence

NCJ Number
Violence and Victims Volume: 2 Issue: 1 Dated: (Spring 1987) Pages: 5-23
J Fagan; S Wexler
Date Published
19 pages
Research and theory on violent behavior have treated aggression between intimates and aggression between strangers as separate phenomena.
Major criminological works on violence and aggression have generally overlooked violence in the home. As a result, independent and distinct bodies of theoretical and practical knowledge exist regarding family violence and aggression toward strangers, and the relationship between family violence and violence directed against strangers is little understood. Exposure to violence as a child consistently emerges as a strong explanatory factor for both domestic violence and the behavior of 'generally' violent men. Behavior patterns appear to shift over time, from domestic violence only to violence toward both strangers and family members. However, an integrated theory of violent behavior by males provides explanations of both stranger and family violence. Early childhood socialization toward violence, modified by social and cultural supports during adolescence and adulthood, suggests a social learning paradigm. Hypotheses are developed that integrate and unify theories of stranger and family violence. 111 references and 9 notes. (Author abstract modified)