Tuesday, May 26, 2015

GSS 23 (2009) and Domestic Abuse: Coverage of Current Versus Ex-Spouses/Partners


A student is looking for domestic abuse by type of spouse/partner in the household. We have a basic question about this - does this make sense given the available variables? From what we can see, the variables that cover abuse (physical/sexual, or emotional/financial) pertain to ex-spouses/partners, whereas the victims are often not living with a current spouse/partner.

Are we missing substantial abuse variables (physical/sexual, or emotional/financial) that relate to current spouses/partners rather than ex’s? If not, could we go back to older cycles for this?


To answer the question below, the student should be looking at both current and ex spouse/partner (which is available in Cycle 18 and 23).

Here is a breakdown of 6 derived variables that are related to ex/current abuse (depending on what student means by ”domestic abuse”, they might want to look at multiple abuse categories). From what I can see from previous StatCan articles, if they are looking at what is called “Spousal/ex-Spousal Violence”, then they are most likely restricting the sample to PRVIOL = 1. However, if you would like to look at all forms of abuse (including emotional/financial, you will want to include CREMFIN/EXEMFIN, and SPABUSE/EXABUSE in your analysis.

***Note - It is important to not lump them into one category because the timelines differ (e.g., emotional/financial appears to be covered across a lifetime, whereas physical/sexual is covered in the last 5 years).

(Current spouse/partner abuse variables)

CREMFIN (emotional/financial abuse) by current spouse/partner (EFP_Q210 to EFP_Q270) (during lifetime)

SPABUSE (physical/sexual violence) by current spouse/partner (PSP_Q110 to PSP_Q200) (past 5 years)

CRVIOL (physical/sexual violence by current) à can specify different time frames - past 12 months, etc.

(Ex spouse/partner abuse variables)

EXEMFIN (emotional/financial abuse) by ex-spouse/partner (EFX_Q210 to EFX_Q270) (during lifetime)

EXABUSE (physical/sexual violence) by ex-spouse/partner (PSX_Q110 to PSX_Q200)

EXVIOL (physical/sexual violence by ex) à can specify different time frames - past 12 months, etc.

(Both ex and current)

PRVIOL (physical/sexual violence by current or ex-spouse/partner à can specify different time frames - past 12 months, etc.

Not sure if student is interested in looking at proportion of abuse by spousal/partner. If that is the case, you could do something like this...restrict main file to “if marstat in (1,2)” (common-law or married) and then restrict to “if prviol = 1” (physical/sexual violence)

OR if you wanted to see what proportion of abuse was ex-spouse/partner vs. current-spouse/partner, you could restrict main file “if prviol = 1”, then cross by crviol (current) and exviol (ex).