This study identified empirically derived, significant patterns of intimate partner violence (IPV), as well as the correlates and outcomes of the IPV patterns.
Participants (n=406) were recruited from 3 sites in the same mid-Atlantic city at the time they were seeking assistance for IPV perpetrated by a current or former male partner. This study was part of a larger longitudinal investigation of battered women's experiences. In-person interviews were conducted at the time of recruitment, followed by telephone interviews conducted every 3 to 4 months. The initial interview obtained information on age, ethnicity, education, employment, income, living situation, marital status, duration of relationship, current relationship status, and number of children. IPV physical and sexual assault were measured with a modified Revised Conflict Tactics Scales, and psychological abuse was measured with the short version of the Psychological Maltreatment of Women Inventory. Stalking was assessed with a modified form of the stalking assessment used in the Violence Against Women survey. Current involvement in the relationship, living arrangement with the index partner, the desire to continue the relationship, and the expectation of future contact were assessed at each data collection. The assessment of mental health outcomes focused on posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, quality of life, and IPV threat appraisal. Using cluster analysis, three IPV patterns were identified. Pattern 1 was characterized by moderate levels of physical violence, psychological abuse, and stalking, but little sexual violence. Pattern 2 involved high levels of physical violence, psychological abuse, and stalking, but low levels of sexual violence. Pattern 3 consisted of high levels of all violence types. Pattern 3 was associated with the highest prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, and pattern 2 had the highest levels of revictimization during the year following recruitment. Clinical and policy implications of the findings are discussed. 2 figures, 2 tables, and 44 references