Are male perpetrators of intimate partner violence different from convicted violent offenders? Examination of psychopathic traits and life success in males from a community survey

Delphine Theobald, David P. Farrington, Jeremy W. Coid, Alex R. Piquero

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30 Citations (Scopus)


We used data from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, a prospective longitudinal survey of more than 400 males in the United Kingdom followed from age 8 to age 48 to investigate intimate partner violence (IPV) and its association with psychopathy. We investigated the differences in psychopathy scores between those men who were convicted of violence, those who were involved in both extra- and intra-familial violence, and those who committed IPV only. We also considered whether these generally violent men had poorer life success overall with regard to their drinking and drug taking, depression, and other mental disorders. Our findings suggest that those men who are violent both within and outside the home (the generally violent men) are distinguished from those who commit violent crimes outside the home and those who are involved in IPV within the home only. The differences appear to be more in degree than in kind. These findings are discussed with a focus on whether specific interventions are required for those who commit IPV or whether early intervention should be focused on violent behavior in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1687-1718
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • alcohol and drugs
  • intervention/treatment
  • intimate partner violence
  • violent offenders

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