Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Men Experience Domestic Violence, With Health Impact

Date:
May 20, 2008
Source:
Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies
Summary:
Domestic violence can happen to men, not only to women. Phone interviews with 420 randomly sampled adult male Group Health patients surprised researchers. They found 5 percent of the men had experienced domestic violence in the past year, 10 percent in the past five years, and 29 percent over their lifetimes. "We want abused men to know they're not alone," he said.

Domestic violence can happen to men, not only to women, according to Group Health research in the June American Journal of Preventive Medicine. "Domestic violence in men is under-studied and often hidden--much as it was in women 10 years ago," said study leader Robert J. Reid, MD, PhD, an associate investigator at the Group Health Center for Health Studies. "We want abused men to know they're not alone."

His findings confirm some common beliefs but also debunk five myths about abuse in men:

Myth 1: Few men experience domestic violence. Many do. In-depth phone interviews with over 400 randomly sampled adult male Group Health patients surprised Dr. Reid and his colleagues: 5% had experienced domestic violence in the past year, 10% in the past five years, and 29% over their lifetimes. The researchers defined domestic violence to include nonphysical abuse--threats, chronic disparaging remarks, or controlling behavior--as well as physical abuse: slapping, hitting, kicking, or forced sex.

Myth 2: Abuse of men has no serious effects. The researchers found domestic violence is associated with serious, long-term effects on men's mental health. Women are more likely than men to experience more severe physical abuse, said Dr. Reid. "But even nonphysical abuse----can do lasting damage." Depressive symptoms were nearly three times as common in older men who had experienced abuse than in those who hadn't, with much more severe depression in the men who had been abused physically.

Myth 3: Abused men don't stay, because they're free to leave. In fact, men may stay for years with their abusive partners. "We know that many women may have trouble leaving abusive relationships, especially if they're caring for young children and not working outside the home," said Dr. Reid. "We were surprised to find that most men in abusive relationships also stay, through multiple episodes, for years."

Myth 4: Domestic violence affects only poor people. The study actually showed it to be an equal-opportunity scourge. "As we found in our previous research with women experiencing domestic violence, this is a common problem affecting people in all walks of life," said Dr. Reid. "Our patients at Group Health have health insurance and easy access to health care, and their employment rate and average income, education level, and age are higher than those of the rest of the U.S. population."

Myth 5: Ignoring it will make it go away. Not so. "We doctors hardly ever ask our male patients about being abused--and they seldom tell us," said Dr. Reid. "Many abused men feel ashamed because of societal expectations for men to be tough and in control." Younger men were twice as likely as men age 55 or older to report recent abuse. "That may be because older men are even more reluctant to talk about it," he added.

This study extends Group Health's research on domestic violence, a.k.a. intimate partner violence. The team's previous publications have documented the prevalence, persistence, and health effects of domestic violence on women. In the current study, they asked men the same questions that they had asked of women. "Our team is concerned about abuse of people: of women as well as men," Dr. Reid added. "We do not want to downplay the seriousness of domestic violence as experienced by women."

Dr. Reid said more research is needed to determine the best ways for doctors to ask men if they have experienced domestic violence--and how best to help them into couples counseling, leaving their partners, or getting protection orders. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is toll-free 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Group Health Center for Health Studies funded this work, co-authored by Melissa Anderson, MS, Paul Fishman, PhD, David Carrell, PhD, and Robert Thompson, MD of the Group Health Center for Health Studies; Amy Bonomi, PhD, MPH, now an Ohio State University associate professor of human development & family science in Columbus; and Group Health Center for Health Studies affiliate scientific investigator Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH, of Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center and the University of Washington.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies. "Men Experience Domestic Violence, With Health Impact." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080519083020.htm>.
Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies. (2008, May 20). Men Experience Domestic Violence, With Health Impact. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080519083020.htm
Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies. "Men Experience Domestic Violence, With Health Impact." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080519083020.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — They can't all read yet, but soon kindergarteners may be able to create basic computer code. Researchers in Massachusetts developed an app that teaches young kids a simple computer programming language. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) — Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) — Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins