Background: This study addresses to what extent child and adolescent explanatory factors predict male perpetrated intimate partner violence (IPV) in adulthood.
Methods: We use prospective longitudinal data from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development (CSDD). The CSDD is a survey of 411 male born in the 1950s in an inner London area. The men were interviewed over a period of 40 years with information also gathered from their parents, peers and teachers and later from their female partners.
Results: Family factors such as having a criminal father, a disrupted family, poor supervision and relationship problems with parents predicted later IPV. Individual predictors included unpopularity, daring, impulsivity, aggressiveness and low verbal IQ. There was evidence of cumulative risk for later violence in intimate partnerships.
Conclusions: Early childhood factors predict adult male IPV. No other study has showed the predictability of IPV over a 40-year time interval in a prospective survey. The IPV men tended to have convictions for violence and tended to be unsuccessful in areas such as employment, drinking and drug use.