Persistence and desistance of the perpetration of physical aggression across relationships: findings from a national study of adolescents

Daniel J Whitaker, Brenda Le, Phyllis Holditch Niolon
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2010, 25 (4): 591-609
This study examined the persistent perpetration of physical intimate partner violence (IPV) across relationships. Based on the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health, data were analyzed on 6,446 young adults, who reported on two recent relationships. Frequency and logistic regression analyses were used to examine the persistence of physical IPV perpetration across relationships and the predictors of persistent perpetration. Among individuals who perpetrated physical violence in their first relationship, 29.7% persisted in their perpetration in the second relationship and 70.3% desisted. Significant predictors of persistent physical IPV in the final multi-variate model were as follows: IPV frequency in the first relationship, age, living together versus apart in the subsequent relationship, respondent being better educated than the partner, and being an IPV victim in second relationship. The persistence of physical IPV across relationships was relatively low, with desistance being much more common. Factors specific to the second relationship were the strongest predictors of persistence.

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