Conceptual Framework of Intimate Partner Violence in Persons Arrested for Domestic Violence

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There is a paucity of research developing and testing conceptual models of intimate partner violence, particularly for female perpetrators of aggression. Several theorists' conceptual frameworks hypothesize that distal factors-such as personality traits, drinking patterns, and marital discord-influence each other and work together to increase the likelihood of physical aggression. The purpose of the present study was to investigate these variables in a relatively large sample of men and women arrested for domestic violence and court-referred to violence intervention programs. In men and women, alcohol problems in perpetrators and their partners contributed directly to physical abuse and indirectly via psychological aggression, even after perpetrator antisociality, perpetrator trait anger, perpetrator relationship discord, and perpetrator and partner psychological and physical aggression were included in the model. The only significant gender difference found was that, in male perpetrators, trait anger was significantly associated with relationship discord, but this path was not significant for women perpetrators. The results of the study provide further evidence that alcohol problems in both partners are important in the evolution of psychological aggression and physical violence. There were minimal differences between men and women in the relationships of most distal risk factors with physical aggression, suggesting that the conceptual framework examined may fit equally well regardless of perpetrator gender. This finding suggests that, in arrested men and women, violence intervention programs might have improved outcomes if they offered adjunct or integrated alcohol treatment.

Related Topics

  • Behavioral Health
  • Fathers/Partners
  • Trauma