U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Predicting Intimate Partner Violence for At-Risk Young Adults and Their Romantic Partners

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2016
20 pages
This study combined a prospective longitudinal component on how developmental risk factors in childhood predicted intimate partner violence (IPV) in young adulthood with a proximal component on how concurrent contextual risk factors were related to IPV.
Findings on developmental risk factors in childhood indicate that inter-parent IPV and experience of coercive parenting heightened the risk of IPV in young-adult romantic relationships. Pathways from family risk factors to IPV in young adulthood included the increased likelihood of adolescent antisocial behavior, particularly for young men. Association with delinquent peers during adolescence was also a pathway to later IPV. Findings on contextual risk factors within young adulthood suggest important partner influences. Men and women within couples were similar in levels of substance use, and there were associations between substance use and IPV, particularly for men and for poly-substance users. The study used data collected over a 15-year period. The analyses involved 323 young adults (184 women and 139 men, average age 21 years old) and their romantic partners (145 women and 177 men, average age 22 years old). All of the couples were participants in the community-based program Linking the Interests of Families and Teachers (LIFT). The long-term impacts on IPV of the LIFT preventive intervention, which was intended to prevent aggression during and following elementary school, were also examined in this study. Although the LIFT program improved children's social and problemsolving skills while reducing physical aggression during childhood, LIFT did not prevent IPV during young adulthood. Implications of these findings for criminal justice policy and practice in the United States are discussed. 29 references and appended scholarly products produced or in process

Date Published: December 1, 2016