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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (MSCP)

Committee Chair

Jay Thomas, PhD


Research in the area of intimate partner violence (lPV) strongly suggests that developmental environment, genetics, personality structure, trauma history, psychopathology and substance abuse are all factors that contribute to violent behavior in intimate partner relationships. There appears to be a great deal of discrepancy between this knowledge and current practice in the field, which in the United States largely attributes intimate partner violence to a gender-based struggle for power. This paper briefly describes the current "best practice" in the field of domestic violence intervention, reviews recent literature on etiology, intervention and prevention, compares the results to principles underlying the current prevalent approach, and ultimately advocates for a paradigm shift to allow application of new research findings to treatment and prevention of family violence. The paper concludes with suggestions for intervention alternatives and future research directions.