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Male-Perpetrated Domestic Violence: Testing a Series of Multifactorial Family Models, Summary

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2000
10 pages
This document summarizes a project testing multifactorial family models of male-perpetrated domestic violence.
The project sought to demonstrate that domestic violence and trauma-related psychological distress are connected, with trauma and its sequelae - posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol abuse - as major mediators to explain the etiology and propagation of aggressive behaviors in families. The goal of the project was a better understanding of risk factors associated with male-perpetrated domestic violence, partner's mental distress, and child behavior problems, using data from the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study. The project was organized into four studies, each addressing a specific objective and subsumed hypotheses concerning patterns of relationships among critical variables: perpetrator's family of procreation, background and trauma history, and current mental distress, and developmental and intergenerational perspective on violence. Project results appear to support the perspective that exposure to highly stressful life events in a man's childhood or early adulthood and the psychological consequences may explain later partner battering and concomitant partner mental distress and child behavior problems. The report recommends a strong alliance between criminal justice and mental health services, and recognition of the importance of trauma exposure and subsequent PTSD symptomatology and alcohol abuse in accounting for the perpetration of violence against women. Figures

Date Published: September 1, 2000