Family Violence

Communication Processes

Edited by Dudley D. Cahn

Subjects: Communication, Family Studies, Violence
Series: SUNY series in Communication Studies
Paperback : 9780791493762, 240 pages, January 2010
Hardcover : 9780791493755, 240 pages, January 2009

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
1. An Evolving Communication Perspective on Family Violence
Dudley D. Cahn
Part 1. Couples’ Violence
2. Relational Control-Motivated Aggression: A Theoretical Framework for Identifying Various Types of Violent Couples
Loreen N. Olson
3. Making Sense of Abuse: Account Analyses of Male Batterers
Teresa C. Sabourin
4. Measuring Change in Attitudes Targeted by Batterer Intervention Programs
Maria Elena Villar, Victoria Orrego-Dunleavy, and Joan Svaldi Farr
5. Exploring the Communication of Men Revealing Abuse from Female Romantic Partners
Jessica J. Eckstein
6. Seeing Family Violence Differently: Shifting Perspectives from Social Scientific to Rhetorical
Suzanne M. Enck-Wanzer
Part 2. Parent-Child Violence
7. A Communication Perspective on Physical Child Abuse
Angela B. Swanson and Dudley D. Cahn
8. Distinguishing Communication Behaviors of Mothers High and Low in Trait Verbal Aggression: A Qualitative Analysis of Mother-Child Playtime Interactions
Felicia Roberts, Steven R. Wilson, Julie E. Delaney, and Jessica J. Rack
9. Adolescent-to-Parent Abuse: Abused Parents’ Perceptions of the Meaning and Goals of Adolescents’ Verbal, Physical, and Emotional Abuse
Nancy J. Brule
10. Forgiving the Unforgivable? Processes of Forgiveness and Reconciliation after Episodes of Family Violence
Ruth Anna Abigail
List of Contributors

Contributors engage the communication issues associated with violence in families, including interspousal violence and violent parents and children.


Although the United States has a high level of affluence and education compared to much of the rest of the world, neither wealth nor schooling ensures personal safety, particularly within the family and home. Every ten seconds, a child is beaten, neglected, or molested by his or her own family members, and many couples and children can be violent, abusive, and aggressive towards other family members as well. Family Violence focuses on the communication processes that occur before, during, and after these episodes. Contributors to the volume include both established scholars and newcomers to the communication field who use quantitative and qualitative approaches to unravel the complexities of the communication processes that are at the center of violence in families. Essays cover a range of topics, focusing separately on couples violence and violence between parents and children, and through the lens of communication research shed new light on the significant problem of domestic violence in the United States.

Dudley D. Cahn is Professor of Communication at the State University of New York College at New Paltz. He is the editor of several books, the author of Conflict in Intimate Relationships, and the coauthor (with Ruth Anna Abigail) of Managing Conflict Through Communication.