Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious public health problem that has received increased attention in the military. We review existing literature regarding prevalence, consequences, correlates, and treatment of IPV perpetration among military veterans and active duty servicemen. Rates of IPV across these military populations range from 13.5% to 58%, with considerably lower rates obtained among samples not selected on the basis of psychopathology. For both military veterans and active duty servicemen, IPV results in significant victim injury and negative child outcomes, and problematic substance use, depression, and antisocial characteristics represent psychiatric correlates of IPV perpetration. For veterans, posttraumatic stress disorder also is an important correlate that largely accounts for the relationship between combat exposure and IPV perpetration. Additional correlates include military service factors, relationship adjustment, childhood trauma, and demographic factors. The only experimentally controlled IPV treatment study indicates that standard treatments are ineffective for active duty servicemen. Further research is needed to advance the development of etiological models of IPV among military populations, to determine whether such models necessarily differ from those developed among civilians, and to rigorously test IPV interventions tailored to the specific characteristics of these individuals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health