Out of Control: Identifying the Role of Self-Control Strength in Family Violence

Catrin Finkenauer, Asuman Buyukcan-Tetik, Roy F. Baumeister, Kim Schoemaker, Meike Bartels, Kathleen D. Vohs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Family violence is common and brings tremendous costs to individuals, relationships, and society. Victims are vulnerable to negative outcomes across a host of dimensions, including cognitive performance, impulse control, emotion regulation, and physical health. Links between family violence and various problems have been established, yet the specific processes underlying these associations are poorly understood, resulting in the stunted development of effective interventions. This article addresses two key questions: How and why does family violence cause these myriad problems? The self-control strength model of family violence provides novel answers. The model integrates components of existing theories, extending them by pinpointing self-control strength as an explanatory and predictive factor, and can serve as a framework for interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-266
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 18 2015


  • aggression
  • family violence
  • self-control strength
  • self-regulation
  • victimization


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