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Common Life Stressors as Risk Markers for Intimate Partner Violence: A Meta-analysis


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious public health issue experienced around the world. Research exploring risk markers associated with IPV has the potential to enhance our ability to understand and prevent IPV. This meta-analysis examined various life stressors as risk markers for physical IPV perpetration and victimization for men and women. The life stressors chosen in this study were based upon the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America survey results, which identified work, money, health and relationships as the most commonly experienced stressors in the United States. Primary findings from this study suggest that strongest risk markers for IPV perpetration and victimization were relationship distress and mental health distress. When exploring gender differences, we found that unemployment was a significantly stronger risk marker for male IPV perpetration compared to female IPV perpetration. Implications for therapists are discussed.

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Data reported in the meta-analysis were from previously published studies.


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Correspondence to Brooke M. Keilholtz.

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The author(s) declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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Keilholtz, B.M., Spencer, C.M. & Stith, S.M. Common Life Stressors as Risk Markers for Intimate Partner Violence: A Meta-analysis. Contemp Fam Ther 45, 349–359 (2023).

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