Risk Factors for Male Perpetration and Female Victimization of Intimate Partner Homicide: A Meta-Analysis

June 10, 2018 | By Chelsea M. Spencer & Sandra M. Stith


Intimate partner homicide (IPH) is a serious problem throughout the world. Research has identified the continued need to examine risk factors for IPH to identify individuals who may be at a greater risk of IPH perpetration or victimization. In this study, a meta-analysis on risk factors for male IPH perpetration and female IPH victimization was conducted. This meta-analysis examined results from 17 studies, which included 148 effect sizes used in the analysis. Primary findings from this research suggest the strongest risk factors for IPH were the perpetrator having direct access to a gun, perpetrator’s previous nonfatal strangulation, perpetrator’s previous rape of the victim, perpetrator’s previous threat with a weapon, the perpetrator’s demonstration of controlling behaviors, and the perpetrator’s previous threats to harm the victim. Implications for law enforcement personnel, medical professionals, victim advocates, mental health professionals, and other professionals who may be in contact with potential IPH perpetrators and victims are discussed.

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