Intimate partner violence in couples seeking relationship education for the transition to parenthood

W. Kim Halford, Jemima Petch, Debra K. Creedy, Jenny Gamble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a prevalent and common problem yet is rarely screened for, or addressed in, couple relationship education (CRE). The current study examined the prevalence of IPV in 250 couples expecting their first child who were recruited into a study of CRE across the transition to parenthood. The couples were generally highly satisfied with their relationship, yet 32% reported at least one incident of IPV in the past 12 months, and 7% reported that at least one spouse had been injured by IPV. The majority of violence was of low severity (pushing, slapping, or shoving), and the most common pattern was of reciprocal aggression between the partners. Given that even low-severity IPV is associated with significant risk of inury and predicts risk of relationship separation, these high rates of IPV are concerning. CRE providers for expectant couples need to attend to prevention of IPV within their programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-168
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Couple and Relationship Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia


  • intimate partner violence
  • couple and relationship education
  • transition to parenthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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