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J Fam Psychol. 2004 Mar;18(1):82-96.

The association of antisocial behavior and depressive symptoms between partners and risk for aggression in romantic relationships.

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  • 1Oregon Social Learning Center, Eugene, OR 97401, USA.


This study examined the extent to which antisocial behavior and depressive symptoms were associated between romantic partners and whether the partner's antisocial behavior and depressive symptoms affected the individual's aggression toward the partner above and beyond the contribution of his or her own symptoms. Questions were examined concurrently and longitudinally for 79 couples from a young, at-risk sample. There were reliable associations between partners' antisocial behavior and depressive symptoms. Women's antisocial behavior and depressive symptoms were significantly related to concurrent levels of men's physical and psychological aggression. Women's depressive symptoms remained significant in predicting men's psychological aggression over time. Overall, men's risk factors had little effect on their partners' aggression. Findings suggest that interventions to reduce partner violence need to consider the potential influence of partner, as well as perpetrator characteristics.

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