Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The purpose of this study was to determine if Hirschi's theory of social control could be applied to domestic violence. Two elements of Hirschi's theory of social control, attachment and beliefs, were used as the independent variables. The Conflict Tactics Scale was used to measure the dependent variables of directed non-contact violence and directed contact violence. Data was collected on 200 cohabiting heterosexual males. Half of these males were in court-ordered counseling programs, the other half belonged to civic or religious organizations. Crosstabulations were used to analyze the data. The Chi-square test of independence was used with an alpha level set at p <.05. Overall, strong support was indicated for both attachment and belief variables. These findings are strongly supportive of further research using Hirschi's theory of social control as applied to domestic violence in adult populations.



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