Does batterers' treatment work? A meta-analytic review of domestic violence treatment

Clin Psychol Rev. 2004 Jan;23(8):1023-53. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2002.07.001.


This meta-analytic review examines the findings of 22 studies evaluating treatment efficacy for domestically violent males. The outcome literature of controlled quasi-experimental and experimental studies was reviewed to test the relative impact of Duluth model, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and other types of treatment on subsequent recidivism of violence. Study design and type of treatment were tested as moderators. Treatment design tended to have a small influence on effect size. There were no differences in effect sizes in comparing Duluth model vs. CBT-type interventions. Overall, effects due to treatment were in the small range, meaning that the current interventions have a minimal impact on reducing recidivism beyond the effect of being arrested. Analogies to treatment for other populations are presented for comparison. Implications for policy decisions and future research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Domestic Violence*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Research Design
  • Treatment Outcome