Wife abuse in Thailand

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Virginia Tech

The objective of this study is to assess the effects of several variables, identified by research on Western, industrialized countries, on the occurrence of wife abuse in a developing Asian society, Thailand. The following variables are organized in two path analysis models: social isolation of the wife, socio-economic status, duration of the marriage, number of children, wife's employment status, husband's level of stress, severity of his drinking problem, and marital conflict. Two separate measures of socioeconomic status are tested, one using traditional items--income, occupational prestige, and education, and another measure incorporating several possessions, such as automobiles, appliances, and entertainment items.

While the bivariate analysis showed little correlation among the independent variables and wife abuse, the intervening variables--stress, drinking, and marital conflict--were highly related. The results of the multiple regression and path analyses revealed that marital conflict had the strongest effect and was the best predictor of wife abuse. Stress and drinking also had a significant effect on wife abuse. While number of children, years married, social isolation of the wife, and her employment status appeared to have little impact on wife abuse, socio-economic status (both measures) is consistently related with wife abuse, and with all the intervening variables. The combination of the variables in the models explain approximately 15% to 20% of the variance in wife abuse in Thailand.