Husband violence: personality disorders among male batterers

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2002 Feb;4(1):13-7. doi: 10.1007/s11920-002-0006-9.


The potential role of personality disorders in understanding husband violence is a controversial issue. Although researchers consistently find high rates of personality disorders, particularly antisocial and borderline characteristics, among samples of male batterers, feminist theorists worry that such research will divert attention from the broader, societal changes believed necessary to end violence from men. The authors of this paper propose that consideration of personality dimensions, rather than diagnosable personality disorders, is the most productive method of examining the role of personality in husband violence. In particular, batterer typologies integrate our current understanding of the roles of differing personality characteristics in distinguishing among subtypes of violent husbands. The clinical implications of a batterer typology are considered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology
  • Personality Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Spouses / psychology*