Adverse childhood experiences, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, and emotional intelligence in partner aggression

Rachael M. Swopes, Daniel V. Simonet, Anna E. Jaffe, Robert P. Tett, Joanne L. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been linked to childhood abuse, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and low emotional intelligence (EI). Relationships among adverse childhood experiences (ACE), PTSD symptoms, and partner aggression (i.e., generalized tendency to aggress toward one's partner) were assessed in 108 male IPV offenders. It was hypothesized that ACE is positively correlated with partner aggression, PTSD mediates the ACE-aggression relationship, and the ACE-PTSD-aggression mediation varies by selected EI facets. Results indicate that ACE has an indirect effect on partner aggression via PTSD and PTSD mediates the ACE-aggression link when emotional self-regulation is low and when intuition (vs. reason) is high. Trauma-exposed IPV offenders may benefit from comprehensive treatments focusing on PTSD symptoms, emotional control, and reasoning skills to reduce aggression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-530
Number of pages18
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Domestic violence
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Moderated mediation
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Treatment

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