Typologies of male batterers: three subtypes and the differences among them

Psychol Bull. 1994 Nov;116(3):476-97. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.116.3.476.


Previous typologies of male batterers, including typologies developed by means of rational-deductive and empirical-inductive strategies, are reviewed. On the basis of this review, 3 descriptive dimensions (i.e., severity of marital violence, generality of the violence [toward the wife or toward others], and psychopathology/personality disorders) that consistently have been found to distinguish among subtypes of batterers are identified. These dimensions are used to propose a typology consisting of 3 subtypes of batterers (i.e., family only, dysphoric/borderline, and generally violent/antisocial). A developmental model of marital violence is then presented, and the previous literature is reviewed to examine how each batterer subtype might differ on variables of theoretical interest. Finally, some of the methodological limitations of previous typology research are reviewed, and suggestions for future work are offered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Domestic Violence*
  • Empathy
  • Family
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior
  • MMPI
  • Male
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis
  • Personality Disorders / psychology