Toward an interactional perspective on intimate partner violence

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This article aims to provide the basis for shifting the research attention in the study of intimate partner violence (IPV) from the individual perspective (violent behavior) toward an interpersonal one (interactions in which violent behaviors emerge). The first part of the article examines critically the prevalent approaches and theoretical frameworks in the field. Based on the main findings in the first part, the second part proposes an integrative model that describes and maps the basic constituents of IPV from an individual and behavioral perspective. The model includes four levels of reference: One focuses mainly on the violent behavior, the second addresses the situation in which violence emerges, the third level focuses on the relationship between the parties, and the forth level refers to the socio-cultural context of the relationship. The discussion reveals many drawbacks to the widespread unit of observation on which the model is based and therefore the third and final part of the article proposes an interactional approach to the study of IPV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-363
Number of pages16
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Interactionist perspective of intimate partner violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Perspective on Definition of Violence
  • Violence against women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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