Partner abuse (PA) is a public health problem that affects a significant number of families. Experiencing PA places victims at risk for a variety of negative outcomes, including substance use or abuse, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and, in extreme cases, permanent injury or death. Furthermore, children who are exposed to PA are at risk for problems in the areas of cognitive functioning, self-esteem, psychological and emotional well-being, interpersonal relationships, and behavior. Most of what is known about PA has accrued through studies of civilian families. In this article, the authors report the results of an in depth review of the epidemiology of PA in each branch of the military. Results revealed that most studies of the military have been conducted with Army families. Rates of nonclinically significant PA are higher in military samples than civilian samples. Men and women connected to the military engage in rates of mild to moderate PA at similar rates. Males in the military engage in more violent PA than do women. These findings are discussed within a prevention and risk/resilience framework. Practical suggestions for clinicians working with military personnel and families and ideas for future research are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-400
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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