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Aggress Behav. 2017 Jan;43(1):26-36. doi: 10.1002/ab.21659. Epub 2016 May 2.

Psychological and relational correlates of intimate partner violence profiles among pregnant adolescent couples.

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Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut.
Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.


We sought to identify relationship and individual psychological factors that related to four profiles of intimate partner violence (IPV) among pregnant adolescent couples: no IPV, male IPV victim only, female IPV victim only, mutual IPV, and how associations differ by sex. Using data from a longitudinal study of pregnant adolescents and partners (n = 291 couples), we used a multivariate profile analysis using multivariate analysis of covariance with between and within-subjects effects to compare IPV groups and sex on relationship and psychological factors. Analyses were conducted at the couple level, with IPV groups as a between-subjects couple level variable and sex as a within-subjects variable that allowed us to model and compare the outcomes of both partners while controlling for the correlated nature of the data. Analyses controlled for age, race, income, relationship duration, and gestational age. Among couples, 64% had no IPV; 23% male IPV victim only; 7% mutual IPV; 5% female IPV victim only. Relationship (F = 3.61, P < .001) and psychological (F = 3.17, P < .001) factors differed by IPV group, overall. Attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, relationship equity, perceived partner infidelity, depression, stress, and hostility each differed by IPV profile (all P < .01). Attachment anxiety, equity, depression and stress had a significant IPV profile by sex interaction (all P < .05). Couples with mutual IPV had the least healthy relationship and psychological characteristics; couples with no IPV had the healthiest characteristics. Females in mutually violent relationships were at particularly high risk. Couple-level interventions focused on relational issues might protect young families from developing IPV behaviors. Aggr. Behav. 43:26-36, 2017.


adolescent couples; female perpetration; mutual violence; partner violence; pregnancy in adolescence

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