Mutual partner violence: mental health symptoms among female and male victims in four racial/ethnic groups

Moisés Próspero, Miseong Kim
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2009, 24 (12): 2039-56
This study examines racial/ethnic and sex differences in the prevalence of mutual intimate partner violence (IPV) and mental health symptoms. The authors asked 676 university students in heterosexual relationships if they had experienced IPV, coercive victimization, and/or perpetration as well as symptoms of depression, anxiety, hostility, and somatization. Analyses were conducted separately for female and male respondents in four racial/ethnic groups, totaling eight groups (female and male groups each for African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and European Americans). Men, as compared to women, reported stronger correlations between IPV perpetration and IPV victimization, with Asian American men reporting the highest associations of any group. Additionally, experiencing higher partner and coercive violence was significantly related to increased mental health symptoms for all groups except Asian American men. Taken together, these findings suggest that the majority of couples experience mutual violence that elicits mental health problems for both members of the couple.

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