Motivations for Intimate Partner Violence in Men and Women Arrested for Domestic Violence and Court Referred to Batterer Intervention Programs
Research has attempted to elucidate men and women’s proximal motivations for perpetrating intimate partner violence (IPV). However, previous research has yet to clarify and resolve contention regarding whether motives for IPV are gender-neutral or gender-specific. Thus, the purpose of this study was to compare motives for physical IPV perpetration among a sample of men (n = 90) and women (n = 87) arrested for domestic violence and court referred to batterer intervention programs. Results demonstrated that the most frequently endorsed motives for IPV by both men and women were self-defense, expression of negative emotions, and communication difficulties. With the exception of expression of negative emotions and retaliation, with women endorsing these motives more often than men, there were no significant differences between men and women’s self-reported reasons for perpetrating physical aggression. The implications of these findings for future research and intervention programs are discussed.