Examining situations involving intimate partner aggression: A dyadic study of agreement on behaviors, attributions, and emotional effects.

Objective: The current study examines the extent to which members of a couple agree on the presence of intimate partner aggression (IPA) as well as their reasons for why the IPA happened and the emotional effects of the IPA, specific to an IPA incident. Method: Romantic couples (N = 199) were asked to independently discuss the same psychological, physical, and sexual IPA incidents in their relationship. Those indicating the same instances of IPA then reported on the specific behaviors occurring within the incident (e.g., slapping, insulting, forced sex), attributions for the IPA (e.g., drugs/alcohol, jealousy), and the emotional effects of the IPA (e.g., worthless, unhappy). Results: There was moderate agreement on whether or not aggression even happened in an instance of IPA, as well as agreement on the general type of aggression that occurred. There was little agreement on the emotional effects of IPA and attributions for the IPA, with the exception of drugs and alcohol precipitating the IPA incident. Conclusions: Future research should strive to better understand why discrepancies in partner reports of IPA exist and consider the implications of these discrepancies on our understanding of this phenomenon. IPA prevention programming may be enhanced by acknowledging that partners often have different perspectives on aggressive incidents, and clinical interventions may be enhanced by helping both members of a dyad have a better understanding of each other’s perspectives on the IPA. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)