||Factors identified from the literature as common to abused wives were compared with a sample of 30 abused and 60 non-abused wives from Salt Lade City, Utah, and its suburbs to delineate which of those factors were unique to abused wives in Salt Lake City area. The conceptual framework of this descriptive study was based on general systems history. The conjugal relationship was the target system, the wife and her spouse were subsystems, and the socioeconomic environment was the supra-system. A questionnaire was employed to investigate five research questions regarding the extend demographic characteristics distinguish abused populations, the association between a women's childhood experience with violence in the home and woman's experience with abuse from her spouse, the relationship between the traditional female role and abused or non-abused wives, the kinds of behavior apparent in the conjugal relationship of the abused population, and the kinds of social of personal characteristics apparent among abused wives. Factors found to have occurred significantly more often with the abused wives sample included shared household conjugal relationships, greater age differences between the wife and her spouse, unemployment, lower occupational status, and lower socioeconomic status. Factors significant to the abuse sample also included more conflicting opinions between spouses, more experience with abuse in the childhood home, more abuse during pregnancy, more discord between spouses during pregnancy, more dependency of wives on their spouses, lower self-esteem, more social isolation, and more use of alcohol and antidepressants. The abuse wife's childhood experience with abuse was significantly related to her present experience with wife abuse, and abused wives were accused of infidelity by their spouses more often than non-abused wives. No significant difference was found between samples in the status inconsistency of spouses in occupational status or education level, in the communication level of the wife and her spouse, and in the acceptance of the traditional female role. Implications for nursing practice and for further research were included, along with recommendations for practical application of findings.