Differences in Frequency of Violence and Reported Injury Between Relationships With Reciprocal and Nonreciprocal Intimate Partner Violence


Objectives. We sought to examine the prevalence of reciprocal (i.e., perpetrated by both partners) and nonreciprocal intimate partner violence and to determine whether reciprocity is related to violence frequency and injury.

Methods. We analyzed data on young US adults aged 18 to 28 years from the 2001 National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which contained information about partner violence and injury reported by 11 370 respondents on 18761 heterosexual relationships.

Results. Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent. In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases. Reciprocity was associated with more frequent violence among women (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.9, 2.8), but not men (AOR=1.26; 95% CI=0.9, 1.7). Regarding injury, men were more likely to inflict injury than were women (AOR=1.3; 95% CI=1.1, 1.5), and reciprocal intimate partner violence was associated with greater injury than was nonreciprocal intimate partner violence regardless of the gender of the perpetrator (AOR=4.4; 95% CI=3.6, 5.5).

Conclusions. The context of the violence (reciprocal vs nonreciprocal) is a strong predictor of reported injury. Prevention approaches that address the escalation of partner violence may be needed to address reciprocal violence.

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Study as mentioned in the following media:

Woman As Aggressor: The Unspoken Truth Of Domestic Violence” – MintPressNews

“A domestic violence victim” – The Washington Times

“Domestic violence: Not Always One Sided” – Pri Med Patient Education Centre

Domestic Violence- Women are Half the Problem