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Babcock JC, Snead AL, Bennett VE, Armenti NA. J. Fam. Violence 2019; 34(7): 687-696.


(Copyright © 2019, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)






The Revised Conflict Tactics Scale 2 (CTS2; Straus et al. Journal of Family Issues, 17(3), 283-316, 1996) is the most widely used measure for assessing the frequency of intimate partner violence (IPV). However, it has been criticized for not capturing the context in which IPV takes place. This study examined follow-up items to each CTS2 physical assault item asking to clarify how often the act was perpetrated in self-defense. A community sample of couples (N = 180) recruited for men's recent violence toward women completed the project-modified Conflict Tactics Scale with Self-Defense (CTS2SD). The majority (69.5%) reported that the physical aggression in the past year was bilateral. On the follow-up items, 27% of men's violent acts and over 22% of women's violent acts were reportedly committed in self-defense. Men's and women's CTS2 physical assault perpetration scores, along with the percentage that were committed in self-defense, were entered into two-step cluster analyses. Cluster analyses revealed three subgroups of bilateral violence: Male Self-defense, Female Self-defense, and Mutual Violence. The Mutual Violent cluster reported the most frequent physical assault, injury, men's controlling behavior and men's arrest for domestic violence.

FINDINGS suggest that Straus' (Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 30(5), 538-556, 2012) tripartite conceptualization of Man-only, Woman-only, and Both-violent couples is overly simplistic and fails to capture different types of bilateral aggression.

Language: en


Domestic violence; Intimate partner violence; Motivation for violence; Self-defense; Typology of violent couples; Violence resistance


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