Intimate partner violence, interpersonal aggression, and life history strategy

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Abstract

We integrate life history (LH) theory with "hot/cool" systems theory of self-regulation to predict sexually and socially coercive behaviors, including intimate partner violence (IPV) and interpersonal aggression (IPA). LH theory predicts that a variety of traits form LH strategies: adaptively coordinated behavioral clusters arrayed on a continuum from slow to fast. We test structural models examining 2 propositions: (a) "hot" cognitive processes, promoted by faster LH strategies, increase the likelihood of sexually/socially coercive behaviors that make up IPV and IPA; (b) "cool" cognitive processes, promoted by slower LH strategies, buffer against the likelihood of sexually/ socially coercive behaviors that make up IPV and IPA. We present single and multisample structural equations models (SEMs and MSEMs) testing hypothesized causal relations among these theoretically specified predictors with IPV and IPA. Study 1 develops a Structural Equation Model for IPV; Study 2 extends the model to IPA using MSEM and provides 5 cross-cultural constructive replications of the findings. Integrating LH theory and hot/cool systems analysis of cognitive processes is a promising and productive heuristic for future research on IPV and IPA perpetration and victimization.

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Figueredo, A. J., Jacobs, W. J., Gladden, P. R., Bianchi, J. M., Patch, E. A., Kavanagh, P. S., … Li, N. P. (2018). Intimate partner violence, interpersonal aggression, and life history strategy. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 12(1), 1–31. https://doi.org/10.1037/ebs0000101

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