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A population based study of reporting patterns and characteristics of men who abuse their female partners
  1. C Peek-Asa1,
  2. C Zwerling1,
  3. T Young1,
  4. A M Stromquist2,
  5. L F Burmeister2,
  6. J A Merchant2
  1. 1The University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center, College of Public Health, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Iowa City, IA, USA
  2. 2The University of Iowa Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, College of Public Health, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Iowa City, IA, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor C Peek-Asa
 University of Iowa College of Public Health, 100 Oakdale Campus. #114 IREH, Iowa City, IA 52242-5000;


Objective: This study estimates the prevalence of male abusive behavior reported by men and their female partners and identifies characteristics of abusive men.

Design: Baseline survey from a population based cohort study of general health.

Setting: A rural county in Iowa, USA.

Subjects: 572 men and their cohabitating female partners.

Main outcome measures: Male-to-female physical, emotional, and sexual abuse reported by either partner.

Results: In this cohort, 13.6% of men had performed at least one act of physical abuse and 34.9% emotional abuse. More than 45% of abusive men reported their own behaviors. Alcohol problems, antisocial personality characteristics, depressive symptoms, and financial stress were all positively associated with both physical and emotional abuse, but suicidal thoughts were less likely among abusers.

Conclusion: Identification of common characteristics of abusive men may predict proclivity towards partner violence and barriers to behavior modification.

  • domestic violence
  • male battering

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