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Spouse Abuse Replication Project in Metro-Dade County, Florida, 1987-1989 (ICPSR 6008)

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The Metro-Dade project replicated an earlier study of domestic violence, the Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment (SPECIFIC DETERRENT EFFECTS OF ARREST FOR DOMESTIC ASSAULT: MINNEAPOLIS, 1981-1982 [ICPSR 8250]), which was conducted by the Police Foundation with a grant from the National Institute of Justice. The Metro-Dade study employed a research design that tested the relative effectiveness of various combinations of treatments that were randomly assigned in two stages. Initially, eligible spouse battery cases were assigned to either an arrest or a nonarrest condition. Later, cases were assigned either to receive or not to receive a follow-up investigation and victim counseling from a detective working with the Safe Streets Unit (SSU), a unit that deals specifically with domestic violence. Given the various treatment conditions employed, three types of dependent variables were examined: (1) prevalence--the proportion of suspects who engaged in repeat incidents, (2) incidence--the frequency with which repeat incidents occurred, and (3) "time to failure"--the interval between the presenting incident and subsequent incidents. Initial interviews were conducted with victims soon after the presenting incident, and follow-up interviews were attempted six months later. The interviews were conducted in either English or Spanish. The interview questions requested detailed background information about the suspect, victim, and any family members living with the victim at the time of the interview, including age, gender, and marital and employment status. Parallel sets of employment and education questions were asked about the victim and the suspect. Additionally, the interview questionnaire was designed to collect information on (1) the history of the victim's relationship with the suspect, (2) the nature of the presenting incident, including physical violence, property damage, and threats, (3) causes of the presenting incident, including the use of alcohol and drugs by both the victim and the offender, (4) actions taken by the police when they arrived on the scene, (5) the victim's evaluation of the services rendered by the police on the scene, (6) the nature of the follow-up contact by a detective from the Safe Street Unit and an evaluation of the services provided, (7) the victim's history of abuse by the offender, and (8) the nature of subsequent abuse since the presenting incident. Data for Parts 1 and 2 are self-reported data, obtained from interviews with victims. Part 4 consists of data recorded on Domestic Violence Continuation Report forms, indicating subsequent assaults or domestic disputes, and Part 5 contains criminal history data on suspects from arrest reports, indicating a subsequent arrest. The police report of the incident and information on the type of randomized treatment assigned to each case is given in Part 6.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

DS0:  Study-Level Files
Documentation:
DS1:  Initial Interview Data - Download All Files (5.8 MB)
DS2:  Six-Month Follow-Up Interview Data - Download All Files (2.8 MB)
DS3:  Selected Variables From Initial and Follow-Up Interview Data - Download All Files (1.7 MB)
DS4:  Domestic Violence Continuation Data - Download All Files (1.8 MB)
DS5:  Suspect Criminal History Data - Download All Files (1.5 MB)
DS6:  Randomized Treatments Data - Download All Files (2.1 MB)
DS7:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Initial Interview Data - Download All Files (1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS8:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Six-Month Follow-Up Interview Data - Download All Files (0.9 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS9:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Selected Variables From Initial and Follow-Up Interview Data - Download All Files (0.7 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS10:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Domestic Violence Continuation Data - Download All Files (0.7 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS11:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Suspect Criminal History Data - Download All Files (0.7 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS12:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Randomized Treatments Data - Download All Files (0.7 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup

Study Description

Citation

Pate, Antony, Edwin E. Hamilton, and Sampson Annan. Spouse Abuse Replication Project in Metro-Dade County, Florida, 1987-1989. ICPSR06008-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1994. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06008.v1

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (87-IJ-CX-K003)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   battered women, counseling, domestic violence, police response, program evaluation, recidivists, spouse abuse, treatment outcomes, treatment programs, victims services, victims

Geographic Coverage:   Florida, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1987-08--1989-01

Date of Collection:  

  • 1987-08--1990-01

Unit of Observation:   Individuals.

Universe:   Simple domestic assault complaints (victim and suspected assailant) in Dade County, Florida.

Data Types:   survey data and administrative records data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The Metro-Dade project replicated an earlier study of domestic violence, the Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment (SPECIFIC DETERRENT EFFECTS OF ARREST FOR DOMESTIC ASSAULT: MINNEAPOLIS, 1981-1982 [ICPSR 8250]), which was conducted by the Police Foundation with a grant from the National Institute of Justice. The Metro-Dade study employed a research design that tested the relative effectiveness of various combinations of treatments that were randomly assigned in two stages. Initially, eligible spouse battery cases were randomly assigned to either an arrest or a nonarrest condition. Later, cases were randomly assigned either to receive or not to receive a follow-up investigation and victim counseling from a detective working with the Safe Streets Unit (SSU), a unit that deals specifically with domestic violence. Initial interviews were conducted with victims soon after the presenting incident, and follow-up interviews were attempted six months later. The interviews were conducted in either English or Spanish. Given the various treatment conditions employed, three types of dependent variables were examined: (1) prevalence--the proportion of suspects who engaged in repeat incidents, (2) incidence--the frequency with which repeat incidents occurred, and (3) "time to failure"--the interval between the presenting incident and subsequent incidents.

Study Design:   A Domestic Violence Committee, comprised of representatives drawn from the Metro-Dade Police Department, the State Attorney's office, the Dade County Department of Human Resources, the Victims Advocate Program, the Domestic Intervention Program, and the Police Foundation, assisted in the implementation of the field study. The Domestic Violence Committee established the following criteria to determine the eligibility of cases: (1) probable cause for misdemeanor spouse battery existed, (2) the couple involved were spouses or former spouses, (3) the victim was a female 18 years of age or older, (4) no felony had occurred, (5) victim and subject were both on the scene upon the officers' arrival, (6) victim was not in immediate danger, (7) officer was not assaulted by subject or victim, and (8) there were no outstanding arrest warrants, injunctions, or criminal protective orders for the victim or the subject. At the time the data collection phase began, the Florida misdemeanor spouse battery law, which permitted police to make arrests for incidents that did not occur in their presence, applied only to spouses or former spouses. In early 1989, following changes made in the relevant Florida statutes, the case eligibility criteria were expanded to include domestic batteries involving unmarried couples. Random assignment to the arrest/nonarrest condition was accomplished with the use of the police department's computerized dispatch system. In the event that the computer system was not operational, dispatchers were provided with a set of sealed envelopes that contained randomly determined arrest/nonarrest treatments. If the case was assigned to an arrest condition, the suspect would be arrested for battery on a spouse. If the case was assigned to the nonarrest condition, the officers on the scene would provide the victim with a brochure explaining her legal rights and remedies and leave the scene. For those cases assigned to receive SSU contact, background checks were conducted to determine whether the disputants had been involved in previous incidents, what referrals had been made, whether the referral agencies had been involved in the case, and what remedial steps had been taken. The SSU detective assigned to a particular case interviewed the victim and discussed the presenting incident and the circumstances surrounding it, clarifying the ultimate consequences of prolonged continuation of such behavior. The detective would then make either a passive or active referral to one or more agencies capable of providing assistance to the disputants. In the case of a passive referral, the initiative was left to the disputants to make contact with the sources of support. In the case of an active referral, the detective personally made appointments for or physically took one or more of the disputants to the most relevant agency. The initial and six-month interviews were conducted only by female interviewers, since all of those interviewed were female and given the sensitive nature of the subject matter. Each victim was sent a letter informing her that an interviewer would contact her to arrange for an interview and that she would receive $20 for her participation in the survey. (An increase in the incentive to $25 boosted the response rate by 15 percent during the second month of the interviewing process.) Interviews were conducted either in person or by telephone. In-person interviews were conducted either in the victim's home or, for reasons of safety or convenience, at a location other than the victim's home (e.g., the SSU office).

Sample:   Every case of domestic assault that met the selection criteria was selected for inclusion in the study.

Data Source:

personal interviews and police records

Description of Variables:   The initial interview questionnaire produced by the Police Foundation integrated a set of core items supplied by the Program Review Team for the National Institute of Justice with additional items concerning spouse abuse issues. The questions requested detailed background information about the suspect, victim, and any family members living with the victim at the time of the interview, including age, gender, and marital and employment status. Parallel sets of employment and education questions were asked about the victim and the subject. Additionally, the questionnaire was designed to collect information on (1) the history of the victim's relationship with the suspect, (2) the nature of the presenting incident, including physical violence, property damage, and threats, (3) causes of the presenting incident, including the use of alcohol and drugs by both the victim and the offender, (4) actions taken by the police when they arrived on the scene, (5) the victim's evaluation of the services rendered by the police on the scene, (6) the nature of the follow-up contact by a detective from the Safe Street Unit and an evaluation of the services provided, (8) the victim's history of abuse by the offender, and (9) the nature of subsequent abuse since the presenting incident. The questionnaire for the six-month follow-up interview was an abbreviated version of the initial interview: it focused on the relationship between the victim and the offender and any recidivistic behavior on the part of the offender since the initial interview. The follow-up questionnaire was designed also to suggest whether the actions taken by the police and the detective from the Safe Streets Unit had any impact on the relationship. Data for Parts 1 and 2 are self-reported data, obtained from interviews with victims. Part 4 consists of data recorded on Domestic Violence Continuation Report forms, indicating subsequent assaults or domestic disputes, and Part 5 contains criminal history data on suspects from arrest reports, indicating a subsequent arrest. The police report of the incident and information on the type of randomized treatment assigned to each case is given in Part 6.

Response Rates:   A total of 907 incidents were considered eligible cases. Of these, initial interviews were completed with 554 complainants, or 61 percent. Follow-up interviews were obtained from 321 complainants, or 58 percent.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-03-30 File CB6008.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-03-30 All files were removed from dataset 13 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.
  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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