Charting Dangerous Territory

The Family as a Context of Violence and Aggression

Authored by: René M. Dailey , Carmen M. Lee , Brian H. Spitzberg

The Routledge Handbook of Family Communication

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  November  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415881982
eBook ISBN: 9780203848166
Adobe ISBN: 9781136946370


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Every family is a journey of discovery, and each member's path through this journey holds both the promise of great joy and great pain. People find themselves with few maps to guide their journeys through the wilderness of family life. One of the more hazardous detours that often arises in these family journeys is the experience of violence and aggression. This chapter summarizes the research regarding aggressive and violent interactions in family relationships. We map out the prevalence and effects of abuse including some under-explored areas of family violence. We also chart some heuristic theoretical perspectives with an eye toward understanding the communicative nature of aggression and violence. In closing, we survey prevention and intervention strategies and suggest a course for future directions of research.

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