Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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  • Facing the fear: resilience and social support in veterans and civilians with PTSD

    Purpose: This study aims to investigate the effects of resilience and social support on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a sample of 121 veterans (n = 56) and civilians (n = 65). Design/methodology/approach: Gender, age and marital status were collected, along with occupation for civilians and the unit served with, rank, length of time deployed, overall months active and location for veterans. The trauma experiences scale for civilians, the PTSD checklist for civilian and military, Resilience Research Centre’s Adult Resilience Measure-28, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and the Deployment Risk and Resiliency Inventory-2 scales were used. Findings: The results revealed for both samples, resilience and social support (except unit support for veterans) impacted PTSD symptoms. However, social support did not mediate the relationship between resilience and PTSD. Practical implications: Implications for policy and practice were discussed. Originality/value: The originality of this research stems from the incorporation of both a civilian and military sample by comparing their levels of PTSD, resilience and social support.

  • Perpetrator or victim? A review of the complexities of domestic violence cases

    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to provide a review of research on the merits of public policy and law enforcement responses to intimate partner violence (IPV) in the USA using prevalence rates and dynamics of IPV. Design/methodology/approach: A reading of recent comprehensive literature reviews was supplemented by a PsychInfo search of relevant articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Findings: Laws against IPV in the USA have been enforced much more vigorously in comparison with most of the world, many of which have no such laws at all. While more perpetrators have been held accountable for their actions – increasing the safety of victims – many perpetrators are never brought to justice, and “mandatory arrest” laws sometimes result in arrests being made with a scant evidence of wrongdoing. This state of affairs can be traced two key factors. First, the persistence of the gender paradigm – an outdated and discredited set of assumptions about the role of gender in IPV – as formulated by battered women’s advocates, which has informed IPV public policy for several decades. Second, the complex nature of IPV, a phenomenon that mostly happens behind closed doors, varies widely in frequency, intensity, mutuality and impact on victims, and it cannot easily be framed in binary victim/perpetrator terms. Practical implications: The arrest and prosecution of possibly innocent individuals is in violation of due process and mitigates against our common efforts to reduce IPV in our communities. Originality/value: A compact summary of the relevant IPV policy literature is presented with a focus on an under-studied topic, i.e. the problems inherent in the categorization of individuals as either victims or perpetrators and the failure to recognize the inherently complex nature of IPV.

  • Forms of suicide communication are not associated with five-factor personality

    Purpose: US age-adjusted suicide rates increased by 33 per cent from 1999 to 2017 (Hedegard et al., 2018). Communications about suicide and death are a commonly cited warning sign (SPRC, 2014) and are foundational to the vast majority of risk assessment, prevention and intervention practices. Suicidal communications are critically understudied despite their implications for prevention and intervention practices. The purpose of this study is to examine the association between five factor model personality traits and forms of suicidal communications. Design/methodology/approach: A sample of 154 people admitted to emergency psychiatry for suicide ideation or attempt completed self-report measures about their suicide ideation and behavior. Kruskal–Wallis ANOVA examined differences between five-factor model personality domains and forms of communications. Findings: There were no significant differences; however, two nonsignificant trends related to indirect or non-communication and extraversion and openness emerged. Research limitations/implications: Future studies should focus on using more nuanced measures of dimensional personality and suicidal communications. Originality/value: This study is the first to examine differences in the Five-Factor Model personality traits and suicidal communications.

  • The role of local communities in peacebuilding in post-ethnic conflict in a multi-cultural society

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyse the effects of socio-demographic factors on ethnic tolerance (ET) and religious tolerance (RT) as well as the participation of the local community in peacebuilding in post-ethnic violent conflicts in a multi-cultural society. Design/methodology/approach: This research was conducted in the rural areas of Indonesia, on the basis of an empirical study that was performed in Lampung, a province at the southern tip of Sumatra. Data were collected through a survey of 500 respondents from five districts susceptible to ethnic conflicts. From each district, two villages that experienced ethnic conflicts were chosen and from each village, 50 respondents were randomly selected. To strengthen the explanation of quantitative data, in-depth interviews were also conducted with another 50 residents, five informants from each of ten villages. Informants comprised community leaders or traditional leaders, local police officers, local military officers and district government officials. Findings: First, the degree of tolerance is not specifically concentrated in the socio-demographic characteristics. Second, ET affects RT. Third, local community participation in peacebuilding in post-ethnic violent conflicts is not influenced by the socio-demographic characteristics but is influenced by ET and RT. The socio-cultural approach is the main strategy for peacebuilding in post-ethnic (and religious) conflicts in multi-cultural societies. The weakness of inter-ethnic relations soon improves in the post-peace period through the reconstruction of social and cultural factors to strengthen social cohesion and social capital at the local community level by involving various stakeholders Originality/value: This paper is a valuable source of information regarding current research on the role of local communities in strengthening and building peace in post-ethnic violent conflicts in multi-cultural societies.

  • Fear of terrorism and its correlates in young men and women from the United States and South Korea

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine associations between fear of terrorism and several predictors (gender and nationality) and outcomes (moral disengagement, authoritarianism, aggression and social anxiety) in the USA and South Korean young adults. Of particular interest were the potential moderating and mediating roles of moral disengagement between fear of terrorism and the other outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: Samples of 251 college students from the USA and 211 college students from South Korea completed survey packets including measures of fear of terrorism, moral disengagement, authoritarianism, aggression and social anxiety. Findings: US participants expressed greater concern about a terrorist threat to their country, while South Koreans worried more about terrorist threats to their family or themselves. Females in both countries reported greater fear of terrorism and social anxiety. In both countries, fear of terrorism was associated with aggression, social anxiety and moral disengagement. Mediation analyses showed that fear of terrorism exerted a significant direct effect and an indirect effect via moral disengagement on aggression and authoritarianism in the US sample. Moderation analyses revealed that moral disengagement moderated the relationship between fear of terrorism and social anxiety in the Korean sample. Research limitations/implications: This study has the common limitations of cross-sectional studies; i.e. it cannot prove causal relationships. Practical implications: The findings support Albert Bandura’s view that efforts to address the excesses of counterterrorism and other negative outcomes of fear of terrorism, attending to issues of moral disengagement may be helpful. Originality/value: The authors findings provide support for the view that fear of terrorism is associated with negative psychological and social outcomes and that moral disengagement can play an important role in those negative outcomes. Moreover, it adds to evidence that the negative role of moral disengagement shows considerable generalizability across gender and two very different cultures.

  • The community-level impact of a family justice center: indicators from the Guilford County Family Justice Center

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the ongoing data and evaluation strategies being used to document the impact of the Guilford County Family Justice Center, which has been in operation for nearly four years. Design/methodology/approach: There are four primary ongoing data and evaluation strategies used to tell the story of the impact of the family justice center (FJC) on the community: tracking services provided by the FJC, collecting annual data from partner agencies, conducting week-long censuses and doing an annual survey of professionals affiliated with the FJC and its partner organizations. (The current paper reports on the first three of these strategies.) Findings: Methodological limitations of the evaluation strategies used warrant caution in interpreting the findings of the ongoing evaluation of the Guilford County FJC. However, preliminary evaluation findings indicate support for the center’s positive impact on the community it serves, including in the number of clients served, a reduction in domestic violence-related homicide rates and the creation of new community resources that emerged through the FJC partnership. Research limitations/implications: Each of the evaluation strategies used in this study holds inherent strengths and limitations, which are discussed in the paper. Beyond the future evaluation of local FJCs, a range of rigorous methodologies can be used to further explore the impact of the FJC model. Qualitative methods may be useful for gaining an in-depth understanding of victims’ and survivors’ perceptions of accessing resources through an FJC, as well as for studying beliefs and attitudes toward FJCs among various community stakeholders. Quantitative methods can be used to apply more complex statistical analyses to comparing indicators of the impact of FJCs over time. Practical implications: The data and evaluation findings from the Guilford County FJC add support to the potential positive impact of the FJC model on communities. These preliminary data suggest that FJCs can impact communities by offering support to victims and coordinating resources among partner organizations. Collaborative partnerships can be leveraged to lead to broader community changes that strengthen community-level responses to interpersonal violence through greater community awareness, opportunities for community members to contribute to solutions and the establishment of new resources that emerge from needs identified through the partnership. Social implications: Overall, there is a pressing need for research examining various aspects of the FJC model and identifying factors that contribute to its success at fostering collaboration, supporting victims and survivors, holding offenders accountable and preventing future violence. With the rapid growth of the FJC models, the need for research and evaluation to document the effectiveness and limitations of the model is high. Originality/value: Designed to serve as a one-stop shop for victims of domestic violence and other forms of violence to seek help, FJCs offer, within a single location, multiple services from a variety of professional disciplines. These services include law enforcement, victim advocacy and prosecution. Although the FJC model is expanding rapidly across the USA and internationally, research to date is limited, and thus, the current paper will add to the research and evaluation basis for the FJC movement.

  • Aggression in Iranian adolescent girls: role of depressive mood, dysphoric disorder and premenstrual syndrome

    Purpose: Aggression is a destructive experience in terms of social and public health. The purpose of this paper is to determine the role of depressive mood, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in adolescent girls’ aggression. Design/methodology/approach: In a cross-sectional study, 510 girl students were selected by multistage cluster sampling from Lahijan and Sangar high schools (Northern Iran) in the 2017–2018 academic year, and each of them responded to the short version of Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-13), Premenstrual Symptoms Screening Tool and Ahvaz Aggression Inventory. Data were analyzed by point-biserial and Pearson’s correlation coefficients, univariate analysis of covariance in the form of 2 × 3 factorial design and Hochberg’s GT2 post hoc test. Findings: The questionnaires of 475 students were returned correctly (survey validity=93 percent). The results of ANCOVA after adjustment for confounding variables such as age and physical illness history revealed that the existence of main effect for depressive mood (F=31.50, df=1, p0.05). Additionally, post hoc tests revealed no significant differences between the diagnosis of PMS and PMDD in terms of aggression (p>0.05). Research limitations/implications: The present study has some limitations. Depressive mood and diagnoses of PMS and PMDD were defined through relying on the self-report data and cut points suggested by the questionnaires. Obviously, change of measurement tools or even cut points reduces the results reliability and repeatability. Furthermore, the research plan does not allow us to infer causal relations and does not provide information about the direction of the relationship between depression symptoms, PMS and PMDD diagnoses, and aggression. Finally, the present study is relied on high schools’ data, and the results cannot be generalized to other adolescent girls. Originality/value: Despite the limitations of this study, its findings offer new insights into the factors influencing the perpetration of aggression in Iranian adolescent girls. Depressed adolescent girls and those receiving a PMS or PMDD diagnosis are more likely to develop aggression. These findings can be used in high schools to design educational and health-based interventions in order to reduce and prevent anger and resentment in adolescent girls.

  • Victims’ experiences and satisfaction with a family justice center

    Purpose: The family justice center (FJC) model centralizes social and legal services available to intimate partner abuse (IPA) victims in order to facilitate their help-seeking and improve their experiences and the response to IPA. Little, yet promising, research has highlighted the effectiveness of this model. The purpose of this paper is to explore experiences of victims of IPA at one FJC. Design/methodology/approach: In total, 24 respondents who utilized a FJC in a western county in the USA were interviewed using a survey that included both descriptive quantitative and qualitative questions. Descriptive analysis was performed on the quantitative portion and content analysis on the qualitative portion. Findings: Most of the respondents used the FJC multiple times and for multiple services. Most were referred by a shelter or a hotline. The most common services used were housing services, followed by counseling. Overall, these respondents felt supported by FJC staff and were satisfied. However, some of the respondents who did indicate satisfaction in the quantitative portion of the survey expressed concerns in the qualitative portion. Research limitations/implications: The study is limited by a small sample size; however, it has implications for recruitment, outreach and training as well as methodological implications for how FJCs should be evaluated. Originality/value: This paper adds to the scant literature on FJCs and the FJC model.

  • Attributions of victim responsibility in revenge pornography

    Purpose: Revenge pornography is a growing risk among adolescents and young adults. Often stemming from sexting, some victims of revenge pornography report experiencing victim-blame similar to that accompanying the reporting of rape. The purpose of this paper is to explore the assumptions that underlie attributions of victim-blame, with a focus on perpetrator and victim responsibility, as well as gendered assumptions surrounding sexting. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 222 UK university students (111 male, 111 females) read one of two versions of a hypothetical revenge pornography scenario, one involving a male victim of a female perpetrator, the other a female victim of a male perpetrator. They then responded to an open-ended question regarding responsibility. Findings: Qualitative content analysis of these responses identified three inter-related themes: the victim’s behaviour, mitigating victim responsibility and minimising the behaviour. Social implications: The majority of participants in this study attributed at least some responsibility to the victims of revenge pornography depicted in the scenarios. Sex of the victim played a less important role than assumptions around sexting. Originality/value: The study suggests that victim-blame is linked to the consent implied by sharing intimate images with a partner, but is also mitigated by the normative nature of this relationship practice. There was some evidence that the experience of male victims of revenge pornography is trivialised. These findings have implications for e-safety and victim support.

  • FGM in Egypt between socio-cultural barriers and lack of political will

    Purpose: This study aims to detect the main factors impeding the anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) efforts in Egypt post the January 25 revolution, with a special focus on the era of president El-Sisi. The purpose of this paper is to explain the reasons behind the continuation of violence against women in Egypt, namely, FGM, in light of the patriarchal structures and the state willingness to address that challenge. Design/methodology/approach: The study utilizes a qualitative methodology. The study embarks on in-depth semi-structured interviews with 23 participants who experienced FGM and nine key informants from medical, religious, political and civil society backgrounds, including a professor of pathology, a gynecologist, a diplomatic researcher in Al-Azhar, three members of parliament, a representative of the Ministry of Population, the reporter of the National Council for Women and a representative of Nazra non-governmental organization for feminist studies in Egypt. Findings: The findings reveal that FGM remains prevalent not only due to the persisting socio-cultural context that continues to embrace and reproduces gender inequalities, but also because of the insufficient political will to combat FGM and enforce the required laws. Social implications: FGM is considered one form of gender inequality perpetuated by social, cultural and economic structures. It is recognized internationally as a crime and a violation against women’s rights as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, etc. Although the Egyptian Government passed laws banning the practice of FGM, it continues to form a challenging problem to social workers, women activists, human rights groups and public health officials. Originality/value: Little work has been done to investigate FGM post the January 25 revolution in Egypt and identify the main factors impeding the anti-FGM efforts in Egypt. This work fills this gap and concludes with some lessons learnt to fight FGM and improve the anti-FGM efforts.

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