Lorelei E. Simpson, PhD, Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University; Brian D. Doss, PhD, Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University; Jennifer Wheeler, PhD, Sex Offender Treatment Program, Washington State Department of Corrections; Andrew Christensen, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles.
Relationship Violence Among Couples Seeking Therapy: Common Couple Violence or Battering?
Article first published online: 8 APR 2007
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 33, Issue 2, pages 270–283, April 2007
How to Cite
Simpson, L. E., Doss, B. D., Wheeler, J. and Christensen, A. (2007), Relationship Violence Among Couples Seeking Therapy: Common Couple Violence or Battering?. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 33: 270–283. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2007.00021.x
At the time the data were collected, Lorelei E. Simpson and Brian D. Doss were at the Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, and Jennifer Wheeler was at the Department of Psychology, University of Washington. This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health awarded to Lorelei E. Simpson at UCLA for a National Research Service Award (MH63616) and to Andrew Christensen at UCLA (MH56223) and Neil S. Jacobson at the University of Washington (MH56165) for a two-site clinical trial of couple therapy. After Jacobson’s death, William George served as PI at the University of Washington.
The authors would like to thank Michael Mitchell and Xiao Chen at the Statistical Computing area of the UCLA Academic Technology Services for their assistance in planning and completing the statistical analyses used in this article.
- Issue published online: 8 APR 2007
- Article first published online: 8 APR 2007
Relationship violence is highly prevalent among couples seeking therapy (Ehrensaft & Vivian, 1996; Jouriles & O’Leary, 1985), yet few couple therapists regularly assess for violence (Dimidjian, Berns, & Jacobson, 1999), and there is limited research on the type of violence most characteristic of couples in this population. The current study uses latent class analysis to examine types of violence in a sample of 273 therapy-seeking couples. The results support a three-class typology, with the groups labeled no violence, low-level violence, and moderate-to-severe violence. Comparisons between the classes support hypothesized differences between groups in degree of marital satisfaction and difficulties in communication, providing further validation of the typology among couples seeking treatment. Clinical and research implications are discussed.