Gender differences in the link between intimate partner physical violence and depression

Zeev Winstok, Murray A. Straus

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Studies show that, in violent relationships, both partners suffer from higher levels of depression than in non-violent relationships. Most of these studies were based on samples of battered women. Very little research has examined the depression levels of women who physically assault a marital or dating partner or men who assault or are victims of female assaults. Moreover, the association between intimate partner physical violence and depression does not provide a theoretical framework or an explanation for the differences in depression levels of male and female perpetrators and victims. This article presents a preliminary, yet empirically grounded, foundation for explaining research findings on depression levels for males and females in three "Dyadic Types" of intimate partner physical violence: Male-Only, Female-Only, and Both Violent. The theoretical framework involves identifying the relation of intimate partner physical violence to be of greater male than female concern with status enhancement and greater female than male concern with risk reduction, and how these play out in each of the Dyadic Types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-101
Number of pages11
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Gender differences in depression
  • Gender differences in partner violence
  • Gender symmetry
  • Gender theory for partner violence
  • Partner violence mental outcomes
  • Partner violence types

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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