Relationship Problems among Men in Treatment for Engaging in Intimate Partner Violence

Adam D. LaMotte, Laura Meis, Jamie J. Winters, Robin A. Barry, Christopher M. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Although the content of relationship problems has received considerable study in research on couple adjustment, little of this work has focused on relationship problems among men who engage in intimate partner violence (IPV). Theory and research on IPV indicate that relationship problems are an important contributing factor, and the assessment of relationship problems may prove clinically useful in IPV treatment. With a sample of 589 men presenting for services at an abuser intervention program (AIP), the current study aimed to (1) provide descriptive information about rates of endorsement and problem severity for 30 relationship problems, (2) identify different areas of relationship problems via principal component analysis, and (3) examine bivariate correlations between relationship problems and use of physical IPV, emotional abuse, and relationship satisfaction. Results indicated that poor communication, difficulties over money, constant bickering, lack of trust between partners, and selfishness/lack of cooperation were the most commonly endorsed relationship problems. Principal component analysis identified seven broad areas of relationship problems, including communication/money management, substance use, sexual difficulties, cultural differences, mistrust/jealousy, togetherness, and shared friends/activities. As predicted, the severity of relationship problems was positively associated with IPV and emotional abuse and negatively associated with relationship satisfaction. These findings provide key preliminary information about relationship problems among men in treatment for partner abuse and highlight directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Abuser intervention program
  • Emotional abuse
  • IPV perpetration
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Relationship problems


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