Distinguishing Risk Profiles Among Parent-Only, Partner-Only, and Dually Perpetrating Physical Aggressors

Amy M Smith Slep, Susan G. O'Leary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study addressed whether and how men and women who are not physically aggressive, physically aggressive toward only their children or their partners, or aggressive toward both children and their partners differ in their risk profiles. Risk factors unrelated to the partner or parenting role (e.g., impulsivity) and specific to one of these roles (e.g., negative parenting attributions or negative partner attributions) were examined using profile analysis. Dually aggressive men and women had the highest overall risk across all types of risk factors; nonaggressive men and women had consistently low risk. Individuals who were aggressive toward only their partners or their children had distinct risk profiles, with highest levels of risk on the role-specific variable sets. With the exception of parent-aggressive-only men, singly aggressive individuals' risk levels were significantly lower on role-independent and unrelated role-specific risk factors than they were on role-related risk factors. These results suggest theories of partner and parent aggression might gain precision if co-occurrence status were specifically taken into account.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-716
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • child abuse
  • co-occurrence
  • parental aggression
  • partner violence
  • prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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