Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Welfare

First Advisor's Name

Ray Thomlison

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Miriam Potocky

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Stefany Coxe

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Mariana Sanchez

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Intimate partner violence, childhood abuse and adversity, physical partner aggression, domestic violence

Date of Defense



A national study on mental health asked men in a marriage-like relationship about their own use of physical aggression during their lifetime with the women in their life while dating and their current relationship). This study included questions on exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACE). Access to those items provided a unique opportunity to examine the role of ACE and men’s self-reported lifetime use intimate partner violence (IPV). A hierarchical analysis using 15 variables in three categories of ACE (family-of-origin violence, impaired parenting, individual adversities) identified predictors within each category associated with IPV use. When the variables in the family-of-origin category were tested as a stand-alone model it was not associated with IPV use. However, by combining variables in this category with the variables in the impaired parenting category, a significant model was identified. Importantly, this result was inconsistent with power and control IPV theory. Rather, the present study’s results supported polyvictimization theory: exposure to multiple forms of ACE can result in more severe symptomology Adding the category individual adversities to the model also resulted in a significant model. While that addition did not result in a meaningful change in the pseudo R2, it did add to the research by identifying new forms of ACE that were associated with IPV. Looking at lifetime IPV use supported previous research results’ implications that there are two types of IPV: power and control IPV and situational couple IPV. The present study’s findings support prior researchers’ recommendations to expand the IPV offender education program curriculum for men. This study’s results, along with prior research, supports the inclusion of material on emotional escalation, polyvictimization, and the allostatic model in the curriculum.



Included in

Social Work Commons



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