aggression, verbal aggression, conflict, couples, conflict resolution, gender


Purpose - The current study aimed to investigate potential sex differences in the use of verbal aggression in romantic relationships.

Design/methodology/approach - The current study used meta-analytic methodology to analyze 20 studies to understand gender differences in the use of verbal aggression in romantic relationships.

Findings - The results found that women used more verbal aggression than men in romantic relationships; however, overall levels of verbal aggression use were relatively high regardless of sex.

Research imitations/implications - Limitations of the current research, such as calling for less exploratory research and the need for theories grounded in human coupling research, and suggestions for future research are provided.

Practical implications - Advice for clinicians and practitioners regarding verbal aggression in romantic relationships is discussed with particular emphasis on the possibility of including measures against verbal aggression in interventions on positive couple communication.

Originality/value - The current study adds to the literature by addressing which sex uses more verbal aggression in romantic relationships and providing a critical review of the existing literature with recommendations and limitations of the field.

Original Publication Citation

Stockdale, L. A., *Tackett, S. L., & Coyne, S. M. (2013). Sex-differences in verbal aggression use in romantic relationships: A meta-analytic study and review. Journal of Aggression, Conflict, and Peace Research, 5, 168-178.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Aggression, Coflict and Peace Research




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor