War at Home Spouse Abuse in Military Families

Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Brian K. payne

Committee Member

Dianne C. Carmody

Committee Member

Bernadette J. Holmes

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 G72 2003


This study examines the patterns, tendencies, and physical severity of spouse abuse in military families. The demographic makeup of military families in many ways parallels that of violent families in the civilian community. Therefore, this study will determine if certain variables will be similarly correlated in cases of wife abuse within military families as they are in civilian families. Although a significant amount of research has been conducted on spouse abuse in the last thirty years, family violence within military families has been virtually ignored. This study utilizes secondary data provided by the Navy Family Advocacy Central Registry located in Millington, Tennessee, and examines how age, pay grade, gender, substance abuse, and having a military spouse affects the severity of physical abuse experienced. Analyses reveals that pay grade and sex are associated with levels of physical violence. More specifically, the majority of spouse abuse occurred among personnel in pay grade E-4 and below, in both the mild and moderate/severe categories. Additionally, men commit more severe abuse than do women.


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