Sharpening Ockham's Razor: The role of psychopathology and neuropsychopathology in the perpetration of domestic violence

Kenneth Corvo, Pamela Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Current major explanatory theoretical views of domestic violence perpetration can be summarized as feminist/socio-cultural, social learning theory-based intergenerational transmission, and psychological/psychosocial. Of those, psychological/psychosocial views offer the most parsimonious and thorough explanations, while feminist/socio-cultural theory relies on the metaphysical usage of the construct "patriarchy" and miniscule empirical support, and research guided by intergenerational transmission suffers from small effect sizes. This review summarizes these theoretical perspectives and evaluates them according to epistemological criteria of parsimony, elegance, and empirical utility. A more in-depth review examines empirical links between psychological and neuropsychological disorders and domestic violence perpetration. This effort at theory-building advances the premise that domestic violence perpetration is better and more accurately understood as maladaptive coping, symptomatic of a range of psychological and neuropsychological disorders than as either a culturally supported strategy for male domination of women or as only learned behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • Domestic violence
  • Neuropsychology
  • Philosophy of science
  • Psychopathology
  • Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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