Sex Roles

, Volume 52, Issue 11, pp 743–756

Coercion in Intimate Partner Violence: Toward a New Conceptualization


DOI: 10.1007/s11199-005-4196-6

Cite this article as:
Dutton, M.A. & Goodman, L.A. Sex Roles (2005) 52: 743. doi:10.1007/s11199-005-4196-6


For decades, battered women’s advocates have placed coercive control squarely at the center of their analysis of intimate partner violence. Yet, little work has been done to conceptualize and measure the key construct of coercive control. In this article, we apply French and Raven’s social power model to a conceptualization of coercive control in intimate partner violence relationships. Central elements of the model include: social ecology; setting the stage; coercion involving a demand and a credible threat for noncompliance; surveillance; delivery of threatened consequences; and the victim’s behavioral and emotional response to coercion. These elements occur in spiraling and overlapping sequences to establish an overall situation of coercive control. The implications of this model for theory and practice are discussed.


intimate partner violence coercion development and validation measurement 

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryGeorgetown University Medical CenterWashington
  2. 2.Boston CollegeChestnut Hill
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryGeorgetown University Medical CenterWashington

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