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Jacqueline Woolley, Chair The University of Texas at Austin, SEA 4.212, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 475-7596

Fall 2003

PSY 333V • Family Violence

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41085 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
NOA 1.126

Course Description

This course provides an overview to the problem of family violence, with an emphasis on psychological issues. We will study maltreatment across the lifespan but focus on child maltreatment (physical & sexual abuse, neglect, psychological maltreatment) and marital violence, along with related topics (i.e., children exposed to marital violence.) Psychological issues concerning survivors (such as why they are affected in certain ways) as well as perpetrators (why do they do it) will be examined. Some attention will be devoted to historical and cross-cultural maltreatment of women and children, competing theories of maltreatment, methodological issues, and possible legal and social solutions. A variety of controversial issues will be examined, including: whether physical punishment of children should be considered abusive; whether abuse can be “beneficial” for some children; why women appear to be as interpersonally violent as men; and whether battered women are justified in killing their abusive partner.

Grading Policy

Exams: 2 midterms – 25% each Final exam – 20% Paper: 2 short papers (2 page) paper – 30%


D.K. Gosselin (2003). Heavy hands: An introduction to the crimes of family violence (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall & supplemental readings


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