Relationship violence among couples seeking therapy: Common couple violence or battering?

Lorelei E. Simpson, Brian D. Doss, Jennifer Wheeler, Andrew Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-283
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marital and Family Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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