Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 149–160

Marital Satisfaction and Marital Discord as Risk Markers for Intimate Partner Violence: A Meta-analytic Review

  • Sandra M. Stith
  • Narkia M. Green
  • Douglas B. Smith
  • David B. Ward

DOI: 10.1007/s10896-007-9137-4

Cite this article as:
Stith, S.M., Green, N.M., Smith, D.B. et al. J Fam Viol (2008) 23: 149. doi:10.1007/s10896-007-9137-4


A meta-analysis investigating the relationship between marital satisfaction/discord and intimate partner violence (IPV) in heterosexual relationships was conducted with 32 articles. Overall, a small-to-moderate effect size (r = −0.27) indicated a significant and negative relationship existed between marital satisfaction/discord and IPV. Moderator analyses found no differences between effect size based on construct examined (discord or satisfaction). However, the magnitudes of observed effect sizes were influenced by other moderator variables, including the use of standardized versus non-standardized measures, gender of the offender and victim, role in the violence (perpetrator versus victim), and sample type (clinical versus community). The data suggests that gender is an especially important moderator variable in understanding the relationship between marital satisfaction/discord and IPV.


Marital satisfactionMarital discordRisk markersIntimate partner violenceGenderMeta-analysis

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra M. Stith
    • 1
  • Narkia M. Green
    • 2
  • Douglas B. Smith
    • 3
  • David B. Ward
    • 4
  1. 1.Family Studies and Human Services101 Campus Creek Drive, Kansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  2. 2.Virginia Polytechnic Institution and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  3. 3.Texas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  4. 4.Pacific Lutheran UniversityTacomaUSA