The mental health of male victims and their children affected by legal and administrative partner aggression

Joshua L. Berger, Emily M. Douglas, Denise A. Hines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The authors recently developed a psychometrically valid measure of legal and administrative (LA) intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization (Hines, Douglas, & Berger, 2014). The current article explores the impact of actual and threatened LA aggression on the mental health of male physical IPV victims and their children. In the current study, a sample of 611 men who sought help after experiencing physical IPV from their female partners completed a survey assessing the types and extent of IPV that occurred in their relationship, including LA aggression, their own mental health outcomes, and the mental health of their oldest child. A series of OLS regressions indicated that after controlling for covariates, actual LA aggression was associated with more symptoms of PTSD and depression in male victims, and that both threatened and actual LA aggression were associated with higher levels of affective and oppositional defiant symptoms in the men's school age children. The current findings suggest that it is important to screen couples for the presence of LA aggression and male partners and their children should be referred for mental health treatment if LA aggression is occurring in the relationship. Aggr. Behav. 42:346-361, 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-361
Number of pages16
JournalAggressive Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • children's exposure to partner violence
  • children's mental health
  • domestic violence
  • legal abuse
  • male victims
  • partner violence


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