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HSVP 308 Family Violence Across the Lifespan

This course is designed as an introduction to the study of family violence across the lifespan. It will introduce students to history, current theories, research, and policies in the three areas of family violence: child maltreatment, elder abuse, domestic violence. You will examine the cultural, social and political roots of family violence, as well as the dynamics of abuse in the family and in intimate relationships. You will explore the effects of abuse at the individual, family, and community levels, and be able to identify abusive and controlling behaviors. The content of the course focuses on current theories, research and policies on domestic violence (battering, sexual assault, stalking), child maltreatment (physical and sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect) and abuse of vulnerable adults (elderly, non-elderly vulnerable populations). This course is an introduction to the topic. It will give students a basic overview of the issues across types of family violence intervention and prevention and how societies have responded through direct services, community sanctions, the criminal justice system, and public policy. The course will also integrate issues of gender, race, culture, age, physical ability, and sexual orientation throughout our examination of these topics.
4 Undergraduate credits

Effective December 14, 2014 to present

Learning outcomes


  • Describe the history of research and public policy making regarding multiple forms of family violence.
  • Discuss theoretical approaches to understanding violence in general, and types of family violence in particular.
  • Define and discuss major issues related to child abuse, family violence across the lifespan, elder abuse, and intergenerational violence.
  • Understand the influences of culture, race and ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, families of origin, and other individual characteristics as they relate to issues of violence in the family (including how social, political, and economic structures, poverty, oppression, and discrimination influence family violence and abuse).
  • Identify local, regional and national resources for prevention and intervention.
  • Develop an understanding of the range of services and public policies in place to assist children, families and elders affected by violence, and the practitioners who work with them.
  • Apply family violence theory and response options to a case study.

Fall 2024

Section Title Instructor books eservices
50 Family Violence Across the Lifespan Gess, Jarilyn Books for HSVP-308-50 Fall 2024 Course details for HSVP-308-50 Fall 2024