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J Emerg Med. 2014 Dec;47(6):710-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2014.07.036. Epub 2014 Oct 1.

Risk factors associated with different types of intimate partner violence (IPV): an emergency department study.

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Department of Psychiatry, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science & David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, California.
Department of Psychology, University of California at Los Angeles, California.
Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey.
Division of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Management, Imam Reza Hospital, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran.
School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Internal Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, California.



Domestic intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious health care concern, which may be mitigated by early detection, screening, and intervention.


We examine posited predictors in IPV and non-IPV groups, and in four different IPV profiles. Possible factors include 1) alcohol use, 2) drug use, 3) depression, 4) impulsivity, 5) age, and 6) any childhood experience in observing parental violence. We also introduce a new "Five Steps in Screening for IPV" quick reference tool, which may assist emergency physicians in detection and treatment.


This was a cross-sectional study using survey data from 412 inner-city emergency department patients. Associations were explored using a chi-squared test of independence, independent-samples t-tests, and a one-way analysis of variance.


Nearly 16% had experienced IPV. As a group, they were younger, and more depressed and impulsive than the non-IPV group. They were more likely to engage in binge drinking, use drugs, and had more childhood exposure to violence. In the IPV group, 31% were perpetrators, 20% victims, and 49% both victims and perpetrators. The latter group was younger, more impulsive and depressed, used drugs, and was more likely to have observed parental violence as a child.


Correlates in groups affected by IPV indicate the same general risk factors, which seem to more acutely affect those who are both perpetrators and victims. Alcohol and drug use, depressive symptoms, and childhood exposure to violence may be factors and signs for which emergency physicians should screen in the context of IPV.


IPV perpetrators; IPV screening; IPV victims; alcohol; depression; drug use; impulsivity; intimate partner violence

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