Child Abuse as a Catalyst for Wife Abuse?

Clifton R. Emery, Jaeyop Kim, Hyun A. Song, Ah Young Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This paper draws on Matza's (1964/1990) theory of deviance to propose that the father's current abuse of the child moderates the relationship between father's patriarchal beliefs and current perpetration of husband violence in South Korea. Drawing on Matza's concept of neutralizing beliefs, the paper argues that child abuse potentiates patriarchal beliefs, allowing husbands to extend rationalizations for child abuse to rationalizations for wife abuse, resulting in an interaction effect. The paper tests this hypothesized interaction effect using data from a nationally representative sample of 585 South Korean men. The paper then tests a competing alternative hypothesis that any type of violence (including violence outside the family) by the father acts as a moderator. Support is found for the child abuse as moderator hypothesis but not for the competing hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-152
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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