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Md Med J. 1994 Oct;43(10):877-83.

Treating perpetrators of adult domestic violence.

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Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


This article reviews the emerging research on domestic violence offenders. A number of psychological and behavioral factors are correlated with battery, including pervasive psychological abuse, alcohol problems, violence in the family of origin, emotional insecurity, and features of antisocial and borderline personality disorders. Youthfulness, low socioeconomic status, and low educational attainment are also correlated with marital violence, yet it is common in all demographic groups. Research on the effectiveness of counseling for domestic violence perpetrators is quite limited. Some studies have shown that counseling adds significantly to the effects of arrest in reducing domestic violence. High recidivism rates are common, however, with over 25% of offenders engaging in physical aggression within one to two years after treatment. Counseling for domestic violence perpetrators should be part of a coordinated community response that includes criminal justice interventions, preventive education, and comprehensive victim services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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