A Path Model of Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Violence among Couples in the United States

John Schafer, Raul Caetano, Carol B. Cunradi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


The present study was designed to identify the impact of drinking problems, impulsivity, and a history of childhood physical abuse on both male-to-female (MFIPV) and female-to-male intimate partner violence (FMIPV). The data were collected in 1995 from a representative national sample of couples living in the contiguous 48 states. Using a multistage probability sampling design, face-to-face interviews were conducted in respondents' homes, privately with each member of 1,635 couples. A complex path model building on earlier work was tested for African American, Hispanic, and White couples separately. Multiple-group path analysis demonstrated that impulsivity, alcohol problems, and childhood physical abuse were differentially associated with reports of MFIPV and FMIPV as a function of ethnicity. This study suggests that a history of being physically harmed by parental figures during childhood, impulsivity, and drinking problems are all risk factors for intimate partner violence in the general household population in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-142
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • Predictors of intimate partner violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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