Because employment plays a central role in shaping gender identities and gender relations, it has important implications for understanding womenís risks of spousal violence. This article analyzes the relationship between participation in the labor force and the risk of spousal violence against women by treating employment as a symbolic, rather than simply socioeconomic resource. We begin with a latent class analysis that identifies qualitatively distinct patterns of violence against wives. We then examine direct and conditional effects of employment on womenís risks of spousal violence. Our results show that the effect of a womanís employment on her risk of spousal violence is conditioned by the employment status of her partner. To some extent, these effects reflect efforts by men to coercively control their female partners.