Men/women Domestic Violence Types Similar

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 13 (UPI) — A team of Canadian and U.S. researchers say male and female domestic violence perpetrators have similar personality types.

Lead author Zach Walsh, assistant professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, and a team of researchers analyzed data from the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study to examine normal personality, psychopathic characteristics and mental illness among 567 psychiatric patients — including 138 women and 93 men with histories of domestic violence.


“Although both men and women engage in substantial levels of domestic violence, fewer studies have examined female perpetrators,” Walsh says in a statement. “These new findings are among the first to highlight similarities between subtypes of domestically violent men and women.”

The researchers say preliminary evidence shows three sub-types exist among female intimate partner violence perpetrators:

– Anti-social perpetrators are often violent outside the relationship and have high levels of psychopathic personality traits.

– Dysphoric perpetrators may have high levels of anxiety, depression and other forms of mental illness.

– Low pathology perpetrators have generally normal personalities and are rarely violent outside of intimate relationships.

The findings are published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

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