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Am J Mens Health. 2008 Sep;2(3):260-71. doi: 10.1177/1557988308318863. Epub 2008 Jun 16.

Social and environmental contexts of adolescent and young adult male perpetrators of intimate partner violence: a qualitative study.

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  • 1Department for Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


The purpose of the current study was to examine qualitatively the life contexts of young males enrolled in programs addressing perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV). Semistructured interviews were conducted with 19 males recruited from these programs. Interviews were coded to examine life contexts and analyzed using a content analysis approach. Five themes emerged across interviews: (a) disruptive home environment; (b) lack of positive male role models; (c) a peer context characterized by substance use, gang involvement, and behaviors supporting the sexual maltreatment of girls; (d) school circumstances characterized by a lack of academic support; and (e) community exposures to violence. These factors were often interrelated within the various contexts of participants. Further research is needed to provide insight into whether and how these issues may contribute to IPV perpetration. Efforts to support young males regarding a broad array of concerns should be included in programming to reduce IPV perpetration.

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