chapter  2
Research Methodology and the Study of Family Violence and the Life Course
Pages 32

The volume of family violence research has steadily increased since family violence became a major social concern in the 1960s and 1970s. When we wrote the fi rst edition of this book, we searched the criminal justice abstracts (1968-2000) and found 1,505 hits for child abuse, 1,330 for domestic violence, 601 for family violence, 270 for wife battering or spouse abuse, and 157 for elder abuse. There was, of course, some redundancy, and many of these works are not empirical research articles, book chapters, or conference presentations. However, this constitutes a large amount of research, and is surely an undercount of the amount of research conducted in the past three decades because of the numerous disciplines, journals, and articles contributing to the family violence literature that are not included in the criminal justice abstracts. For the second edition of this book, we could not simply do a recount because of system changes, but we reexamined criminal justice abstracts from 2000 to 2005 and found 131 hits for family violence, 230 for child abuse, 38 for elder abuse, 666 for domestic violence, and 298 for spouse abuse. In a search for this edition, we searched from 2004 to early 2009 (basically four years) and found 230 hits for family violence, 432 for both child and elder abuse, and fully 1,259 for domestic violence. Clearly, scientifi c research is proliferating in this area.