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Perpetrator or Victim? Relationships Between Intimate Partner Violence and Well-Being



In national surveys, around half of intimate partner violence perpetrators are also victims of partner assaults. However, data on intimate partner violence victimization and perpetration are rarely examined together. This study examines the relationships between perpetration, victimization, and three psychosocial variables—depression, self-esteem, and substance abuse—that have been constructed in prior research as both causes and consequences of partner violence. Results indicate that associations between substance abuse and self-esteem and partner violence perpetration are mediated by controlling for victimization, but depression is associated with both victimization and perpetration. Associations between mutual violence and depression and substance abuse are greater among women than men, supporting the position that gender symmetry in reported violence perpetration does not imply symmetry in outcomes.