Journal of Family Violence

, 23:539 | Cite as

Does Controlling Behavior Predict Physical Aggression and Violence to Partners?

  • Nicola Graham-Kevan
  • John Archer
Original Article


Using data obtained from women’s shelter residents, male and female students, and male prisoners, this study investigated the association between non-violent controlling behaviors, physical aggression, and violence towards a spouse (N = 264). It was predicted that only men and women involved in intimate terrorism (Johnson, Violence Against Women, 11(12):1003–1018, 2006) would use controlling aggression, and that physical aggression used by those involved in situational couple violence would be unrelated to controlling behavior. Contrary to predictions derived from Johnson’s theory, regression analysis showed that control accounted significant proportions of the variance in the use of physical aggression for all three relationship categories. Some support was provided, however, as it was found that the pattern of both interrelationships of the five types of controlling behaviors, and control and physical aggression, supported Johnson’s distinction.


Coercion Physical aggression Violence Relationships Johnson Typologies 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK

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