Assessing the co-occurrence of intimate partner violence domains across the life-course: relating typologies to mental health

Cherie Armour, Emma Sleath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: The inter-generational transmission of violence (ITV) hypothesis and polyvictimisation have been studied extensively. The extant evidence suggests that individuals from violent families are at increased risk of subsequent intimate partner violence (IPV) and that a proportion of individuals experience victimisation across multiple rather than single IPV domains. Both ITV and polyvictimisation are shown to increase the risk of psychiatric morbidity, alcohol use, and anger expression.Objective: The current study aimed to 1) ascertain if underlying typologies of victimisation across the life-course and over multiple victimisation domains were present and 2) ascertain if groupings differed on mean scores of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, alcohol use, and anger expression.Method: University students (N=318) were queried in relation to victimisation experiences and psychological well-being. Responses across multiple domains of IPV spanning the life-course were used in a latent profile analysis. ANOVA was subsequently used to determine if profiles differed in their mean scores on PTSD, depression, alcohol use, and anger expression.Results: Three distinct profiles were identified; one of which comprised individuals who experienced “life-course polyvictimisation,” another showing individuals who experienced “witnessing parental victimisation,” and one which experienced “psychological victimisation only.” Life-course polyvictims scored the highest across most assessed measures.Conclusion: Witnessing severe physical aggression and injury in parental relationships as a child has an interesting impact on the ITV into adolescence and adulthood. Life-course polyvictims are shown to experience increased levels of psychiatric morbidity and issues with alcohol misuse and anger expression.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Issue number0
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2014


  • Intimate partner violence
  • inter-generational transmission of violence
  • polyvictimisation
  • psychiatric morbidity
  • anger
  • alcohol


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