Sherry M. Walling, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Fresno Pacific University; Jeffrey C. Meehan, PhD, Indiana University; Amy D. Marshall, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University; Amy Holtzworth-Munroe, PhD, Professor of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University; Casey T. Taft, PhD, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, and Associate Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine.
The Relationship of Intimate Partner Aggression to Head Injury, Executive Functioning, and Intelligence
Article first published online: 19 APR 2011
© 2011 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 38, Issue 3, pages 471–485, July 2012
How to Cite
Walling, S. M., Meehan, J. C., Marshall, A. D., Holtzworth-Munroe, A. and Taft, C. T. (2012), The Relationship of Intimate Partner Aggression to Head Injury, Executive Functioning, and Intelligence. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38: 471–485. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00226.x
This project was supported by a NIH grant, #PHS R01-MH51935, awarded to Amy Holtzworth-Munroe. We thank Katie Herron, Randy Hobbs, Greg Stuart, Kristy Dreher, Joelene Bergonzi, Scott Carlson, Brian Gmutza, Lisa Thomas, and Tracy Calhoun for their help in recruiting and assessing subjects and with data management and analyses.
- Issue published online: 16 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2011
Measures of head injury, executive functioning, and intelligence were given to a community sample composed of 102 male perpetrators of intimate partner aggression (IPA) and 62 nonaggressive men. A history of head injury and lower mean score on a measure of verbal intelligence were associated with the frequency of male-perpetrated physical IPA as reported by male perpetrators and their female partners. Lower mean scores on a measure of verbal intelligence also predicted frequency of psychological IPA perpetration. Using the perpetrator subtypes outlined by Holtzworth-Munroe et al. (2000), analyses revealed that compared with other groups, the most severely aggressive subtypes (i.e., borderline-dysphoric and generally violent-antisocial) were the most likely to report a history of head injury and to have significantly lower mean scores on a neuropsychological test of verbal intelligence. The possible role of neuropsychological factors in IPA perpetration and implications for prevention and intervention programs are discussed.