JOURNAL ARTICLE

Characteristics of men who perpetrate intimate partner violence

Vijay Singh, Richard Tolman, Maureen Walton, Stephen Chermack, Rebecca Cunningham
Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine: JABFM 2014, 27 (5): 661-8
25201935

PURPOSE: Demographics, mental illness, substance use, and prior family violence are associated with perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) among male patient populations as well as court-based and community samples. However, few studies have identified health services use and physical symptoms associated with IPV perpetration among men. This study assesses the prevalence of IPV perpetration in a nationally representative sample of men and examines the associations of IPV perpetration with demographics, health services use, physical symptoms, mental illness, substance abuse, and prior family violence.

METHODS: Data from the 2001 to 2003 National Comorbidity Survey-Replication was used to assess the prevalence of IPV perpetration among adult men. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression determined associations of IPV perpetration with demographics, health services use, physical symptoms, mental health diagnoses, substance abuse/dependence, and prior family violence.

RESULTS: The prevalence of male IPV perpetration is 19.2%. Physical symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome (odds ratio [OR] 2.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17-5.84) and insomnia (OR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.04-1.71), as well as substance abuse/dependence (OR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.09-2.85), were correlates of IPV perpetration in multivariate logistic regression analyses controlling for demographics and health services use. When prior family violence was added to the multivariate logistic regression model, only childhood family violence victimization (OR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.21-3.28) and witnessing childhood family violence (OR, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.17-3.49) were associated with IPV perpetration.

CONCLUSIONS: Nearly 1 in 5 men in the United States reported lifetime IPV perpetration toward their current intimate partner. Physical symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome and insomnia, substance use disorders, and prior family violence are associated with IPV perpetration by men. Understanding these associations may aid primary care physicians in identifying male patients who perpetrate IPV.

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