Prevalence and characteristics of psychological abuse reported by court-involved battered women

Kris Henning, Lisa M. Klesges

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study describes the prevalence and correlates of psychological abuse in a sample of 3,370 adult women assaulted by male intimate partners. Victims were asked about their history of physical and psychological abuse, characteristics of the current offense, perpetrator characteristics, and their own response to the abuse. Prior psychological abuse was reported by most (80%) of the women, and rarely did physical aggression occur in the absence of psychological abuse. Men with a history of extrafamilial criminality and substance abuse were more likely to engage in psychological abuse, while demographic characteristics of the offenders showed little relationship to the use of these emotionally abusive tactics. Additional analyses suggested that psychological abuse, independent of physical aggression, was related to victims 'perceived threat and plans to leave the relationship. These findings indicate the need for evaluation of psychological abuse, independent of physical abuse, to understand its impact on victims.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-871
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume18
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

Keywords

  • Battered females
  • Emotional abuse
  • Partner abuse
  • Psychological abuse

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