Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation physical findings Treatment Warning Signs Underlying Cause

Domestic Abuse Underlying Cause

The cause of domestic abuse is unknown. However, in all cases, the abuser has an increased need for power and control. Most of the time, the abuser's past experience supports the notion that abuse results in a desirable outcome.

Factors that are associated with an abuser include:

  • Alcoholism
  • Drug abuse
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Hostility toward the opposite sex
  • Large difference in physical stature
  • Large difference in social status
  • Low self-esteem
  • Mental illness
  • Poverty
  • Social isolation
  • Victim of child abuse
  • Witnessing parental abuse

Last Updated: Apr 16, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Domestic Abuse References
  1. Director TD, Linden JA. Domestic violence: an approach to identification and intervention. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2004 Nov;22(4):1117-32. [15474785]
  2. Tolan P, Gorman-Smith D, Henry D. Family Violence. Annu Rev Psychol. 2005 Aug 31. [16134962]
  3. Worden AP, Carlson BE. Attitudes and Beliefs About Domestic Violence: Results of a Public Opinion Survey: II. Beliefs About Causes. J Interpers Violence. 2005 Oct;20(10):1219-43. [16162487]
  4. Yost NP, Bloom SL, McIntire DD, Leveno KJ. A prospective observational study of domestic violence during pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Jul;106(1):61-5. [15994618]
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