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Proactive Versus Reactive Perpetrators: Aggression and Intimate Partner Violence

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The relationship between proactive and reactive aggression could have significant implications for the conceptualization of intimate partner violence. In this study, victim statements found in police reports involving 299 unique adult male perpetrators were coded for proactive or reactive aggression content and analyzed in relation to existing measures of treatment outcomes. Family-only violent perpetrators were hypothesized to be rated as having used reactive aggression, and generally violent perpetrators were expected to have used proactive aggression. It was further predicted that proactive aggression would be more strongly associated with higher recidivism rates and lower intervention completion rates. Perpetrators were coded as 73.8% reactive and 26.2% proactive contrary to the assumptions of some sociocultural models of intimate partner violence, for example, the Duluth model. Chi square analysis was used to assess the relationship between type of aggression and typology. Reactive perpetrators who completed their intervention had significantly lower recidivism rates than reactive perpetrators who did not. Intervention completion was unrelated to recidivism rates for proactive perpetrators. In fact, no statistically significant difference was found between type of aggression and recidivism when controlling for intervention completion. Binary logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between type of aggression used, intervention completion, and recidivism with no significant associations found. These findings further clarify the relevance of reactive aggression in intimate partner violence perpetrators due to its relative frequency and potential intervention effects.
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Keywords: INTERVENTION; PROBATION; RECIDIVISM; TREATMENT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2018

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