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J Interpers Violence. 2005 Feb;20(2):155-66.

The utility of male domestic violence offender typologies: new directions for research, policy, and practice.

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School of Social Work & Jerry Lee Center of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania, 3701 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The development of empirically based behavioral and psychological typologies provides clear evidence that offenders vary across types. A review and synthesis of the literature reveals three types of batterers common across current typology research-a low, moderate, and high-risk offender. Examination of these types demonstrates that most male offenders do not escalate over time from low to high levels of risk. This observation refutes previous claims regarding a common consensus among researchers that battering escalates in frequency and intensity over time. There are particular characteristics specific to each type that establish thresholds distinct to each classification. Thus, it is unlikely that an offender will move from one type to another. Interventions targeted to address the needs of subsamples of offenders can lead to more effectively protecting those most at risk for future violence. Addressing the issue of woman battering through the prism of typologies has significant implications for research, policy, and practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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