Media Portrayals of Female Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence

Kellie E. Carlyle, Jennifer A. Scarduzio, Michael D. Slater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Preventing intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health priority. An important component of designing prevention programs is developing an understanding of how media portrayals of health issues influence public opinion and policy. To better understand the ways in which media images may be informing our understanding of IPV, this study content analyzed portrayals of IPV in news media articles. Stratified media outlets were used to obtain a representative sample of daily newspapers based on their designated market areas. Researchers created constructed months using weeks from each season across a 2-year period. The first part of the study investigated quantitative differences in the coverage of female and male perpetrators (n = 395) and identified several areas where coverage differed. The second part of the study qualitatively examined coverage of female perpetrators (n = 61) to provide a richer description of such coverage. This study contributes to our understanding of female perpetrators and how these portrayals may contribute to the larger gender symmetry debate surrounding female aggressors. Implications for public health policy and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2394-2417
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number13
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The research reported here was funded in part by National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Grant AA10377 awarded to Michael D. Slater, Principal Investigator.


  • domestic violence
  • domestic violence and cultural contexts
  • media and violence
  • perceptions of domestic violence
  • women offenders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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