Typological approaches to violence in couples: A critique and alternative conceptual approach

Deborah M. Capaldi, Hyoun K. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)


Typological approaches have become highly influential in the research on violence in couples, and yet issues related to such approaches have not been well addressed. We review the utility of batterer typologies, both for clinical applications and for understanding violence in couples. The principal types of batterer typologies are discussed, along with a number of issues that might limit their utility for explaining the etiology and developmental course of partner violence in couples. We propose a dyadic model of couples' aggression, and we explain ways that such a model provides better conceptualization of the development of the couples' violence over time, including issues of persistence and desistance of violence, and that can help inform prevention and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-265
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Cognitive, Social, and Affective Development Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Branch, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) provided support for the Couples Study (Grant HD 46364). Additional support was provided by Grant MH 37940 from the Psychosocial Stress and Related Disorders Branch, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), U.S. PHS; Grant DA 051485 from the Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Branch, NIDA, and Cognitive, Social, and Affective Development, NICHD, NIH, U.S. PHS; and Grant MH 46690 from the Prevention, Early Intervention, and Epidemiology Branch, NIMH, and Office of Research on Minority Health, U.S. PHS.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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