Prevention Science

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 360–369 | Cite as

Stability of Intimate Partner Violence by Men across 12 Years in Young Adulthood: Effects of Relationship Transitions

  • Joann Wu Shortt
  • Deborah M. Capaldi
  • Hyoun K. Kim
  • David C. R. Kerr
  • Lee D. Owen
  • Alan Feingold


The present study examined the stability of young men’s intimate partner violence (IPV) over a 12-year period as a function of relationship continuity or discontinuity. Multiwave measures of IPV (physical and psychological aggression) were obtained from 184 men at risk for delinquency and their women partners. The effects of relationship continuity versus transitions on change in IPV were examined using multilevel analyses. In general, men’s IPV decreased over time. Men’s physical aggression in their early 20s predicted levels of physical aggression about 7 years later, and men’s psychological aggression in their early 20s predicted levels of psychological aggression about 10–12 years later. As hypothesized, higher stability in IPV was found for men who stayed with the same partners, whereas men experiencing relationship transitions showed greater change. The IPV of new partners was linked to the changes in men’s IPV that occurred with repartnering. There was less change in men’s IPV over time as men changed partners less frequently.


At-risk populations Couples Domestic violence Intimate partner violence Partner abuse 



The authors wish to thank the couples for their participation, Jane Wilson for coordinating the project, and Sally Schwader for editorial assistance. The project described was supported by Award Number R01 HD46364 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Drug Abuse. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Mental Health or National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joann Wu Shortt
    • 1
  • Deborah M. Capaldi
    • 1
  • Hyoun K. Kim
    • 1
  • David C. R. Kerr
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lee D. Owen
    • 1
  • Alan Feingold
    • 1
  1. 1.Oregon Social Learning CenterEugeneUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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