Demographic Factors, Personal Life Experiences, and Types of Intimate Partner Violence


Objective: This study examines how demographic factors (i.e., age, employment, or income) and perso-nal life experiences (i.e., witnessing intimate partner violence [IPV] in childhood, number of violent partners, violence perpetration, or stressful life events) are related to IPV frequency across types of IPV (i.e., physical assault, psychological aggression, or sexual coercion) in a racially diverse sample. Method: Participants included 126 women recruited from community organizations in the Mid-South, United States who experienced IPV in the past 6 months (Mage = 32.90, SD = 6.82). The majority of the sample self-identified as Black or African American (66%) and reported an annual income below$20,000 (73%). Three linear regressions were run to assess relations between age, employment status, annual income, witnessing IPV in childhood, number of violent partners, violence perpetration, and stressful life events for each type of IPV; all three models also accounted for the other forms of IPV. Results: Psychological aggression was significantly associated with a higher income as well as more frequent physical assault and sexual coercion. Physical assault was linked with younger age, lower income, not witnessing IPV in childhood, IPV perpetration, more psychological aggression, and more sexual coercion. Sexual coercion was associated with more stressful life events, having multiple violent partners, higher psychological aggression, and higher physical assault. Conclusions: Results suggest that interventions should target mutable demographic factors and screen for personal life events to reduce IPV frequency and revictimization across types of IPV

Publication Title

Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy