Overlap of relationship distress and intimate partner violence in community samples
Heyman, R. E., Lorber, M. F., Kim, S., Wojda-Burlij, A. K., Stanley, S. M., Ivic, A., Snyder, D. K., Rhoades, G. K., Whisman, M. A., & Beach, S. R. H. (2023). Overlap of relationship distress and intimate partner violence in community samples. Journal of Family Psychology, 37(1), 37-44. https://doi.org/10.1037/fam0001031
Branch of Service:
Active duty service member
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Heyman, Richard E., Lorber, Michael F., Kim, Sangwon, Wojda-Burlij, Alexandra K., Stanley, Scott M., Ivic, Ana, Snyder, Douglas K., Rhoades, Galena K., Whisman, Mark A., Beach, Steven R. H.
Mixed-gender couples presenting for couple therapy are at 2–3 times higher risk for physical intimate partner violence (IPV) than community couples. However, it is unclear if this elevation of relative risk is the same in the general population because relationship distress and treatment-seeking are often confounded. We used archival data from three representative U.S. civilian samples and one representative U.S. Air Force sample to test the hypothesis that clinically significant relationship distress is associated with increased risk of various forms of IPV. In these community samples, those in mixed-gender distressed relationships were at 2–3 times higher risk than those in nondistressed relationships for any physical IPV during the past year and at 3–6 times higher risk for clinically significant psychological and physical IPV during the past year. Given that the increase in IPV risk is similar for individuals in distressed community relationships and therapy-seeking relationships, the prior findings of the elevated rates of IPV in clinical samples are unlikely to be due to therapy-seeking. Although epidemiological risk involves statistical, not causal, associations, the increased co-occurrence of IPV in distressed mixed-gender couples fits with numerous theories of IPV and has implications for both screening and future research.
American Pyschological Association
Family Translational Research Group, New York University, REH
Family Translational Research Group, New York University, MFL
Family Translational Research Group, New York University, SK
Family Translational Research Group, New York University, AI
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, AKWB
Department of Psychology, University of Denver, SMS
Department of Psychology, University of Denver, GKR
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Texas A&M University, DKS
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado, MAW
Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, SRHB
intimate partner violence, relationship distress
Heyman and Lorber’s efforts were supported by the National Institutes of Health Science of Behavior Change Common Fund Program and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research through an award administered by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (1UH2DE025980-01) awarded to Richard E. Heyman. The Relationship Development Study at the University of Denver, directed by Scott M. Stanley and Galena K. Rhoades, was funded by Grant R01HD047564 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development awarded to Galena K. Rhoades.