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J Interpers Violence. 2014 Apr;29(6):1094-110. doi: 10.1177/0886260513506058. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

Preliminary investigation of the roles of military background and posttraumatic stress symptoms in frequency and recidivism of intimate partner violence perpetration among court-referred men.

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Madigan Army Medical Center-Tacoma, WA, USA.


Significant rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration have been identified among men with military backgrounds. Research indicates posttraumatic stress symptoms place military men at increased risk for IPV perpetration, but may be negatively associated with IPV among nonmilitary samples. However, no previous studies have directly compared court-referred IPV offenders with and without military experience, which may have clinical implications if posttraumatic stress symptoms are differentially associated with IPV perpetration across these two samples. Twenty court-referred IPV offenders with military background were demographically matched with 40 court-referred IPV offenders without military background. As anticipated, self- and partner-report of physically assaultive acts and injurious acts during baseline assessment showed significantly greater physical assault and injury perpetrated by offenders with military background. However, 1-year follow-up data on convictions indicated a significantly lower rate of recidivism among offenders with military background than among nonmilitary offenders. As hypothesized, symptoms of posttraumatic stress at intake showed a significant positive correlation with IPV perpetration among offenders with military background; however, this relationship showed a negative correlation among offenders without military background. Clinical implications are discussed including treatment avenues, such as Veterans Courts and other incarceration diversion programs, which may be particularly appropriate for offenders with military backgrounds.


intimate partner violence perpetration; military; posttraumatic stress; recidivism; veteran

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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