Implicit theories in intimate partner violence offenders

Sarah Weldon, Elizabeth Gilchrist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cognitive characteristics of intimate partner violence (IPV) offenders have received considerable attention recently. The implicit theories underlying these cognitions have yet to be evidenced using accounts of IPV males. In this study, interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to analyze interview transcripts of six IPV offenders currently serving a custodial sentence in a Scottish prison to identify potential implicit theories. Analyses resulted in the identification of 11 potential implicit theories of IPV: “violence is acceptable;” “grievance/revenge;” “need for control;” “real man;” “entitlement/women are objects;” “male sex drive is uncontrollable/policing partner;” “women are provoking;” “rejection/abandonment;” “women as supportive;” “external factors responsible;” and “nature of harm.” The implicit theories are compared across other groups of offender and implications for offender interventions discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-772
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number8
Early online date19 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • intimate partner violence offenders
  • implicit theories
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • schemas
  • domestic violence


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