Women's motives for violent and nonviolent behaviors in conflicts

Rebecca Weston, Linda L. Marshall, Ann L. Coker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Drawing from past research on women's motives for intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration, correlates of women's perpetration, and correlates of nonviolent conflict, we created a scale containing 125 possible motives, representing 14 broad domains (e.g., self-defense, retaliation). Participants were an ethnically diverse sample of women who had perpetrated no physical IPV against their current partner (n = 243), threats but not physical IPV (n = 70), nonsevere physical IPV (n = 193), and at least one act of severe (e.g., choke) physical IPV (n = 93). An exploratory factor analysis yielded a seven-factor solution, representing Partners' Negative Behaviors, Increase Intimacy, Personal Problems, Retaliation, Childhood Experiences, Situation/Mood, and Partners' Personal Problems. Differences by women's IPV perpetration and race and/or ethnicity were tested with means representing these seven factors and a computed variable representing self-defense. Although motives differed by perpetration type, main effects for Partners' Negative Behavior, Personal Problems, Retaliation, and Childhood Experiences were modified by interactions, suggesting ethnicity should be considered when developing interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1065
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Female perpetration
  • Low-income
  • Partner violence
  • Race/ ethnicity
  • Scale development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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