Purpose – The current study aimed to investigate potential sex differences in the use of verbal aggression in romantic relationships. Design/methodology/approach – The current study used meta‐analytic methodology to analyze 20 studies to understand gender differences in the use of verbal aggression in romantic relationships. Findings – The results found that women used more verbal aggression than men in romantic relationships; however, overall levels of verbal aggression use were relatively high regardless of sex. Research imitations/implications – Limitations of the current research, such as calling for less exploratory research and the need for theories grounded in human coupling research, and suggestions for future research are provided. Practical implications – Advice for clinicians and practitioners regarding verbal aggression in romantic relationships is discussed with particular emphasis on the possibility of including measures against verbal aggression in interventions on positive couple communication. Originality/value – The current study adds to the literature by addressing which sex uses more verbal aggression in romantic relationships and providing a critical review of the existing literature with recommendations and limitations of the field.
Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 12, 2013
Keywords: Aggression; Verbal aggression; Conflict; Couples; Conflict resolution; Gender