OTHER SOCIAL ISSUES

A Systematic Review of Mental Disorders and Perpetration of Domestic Violence Among Military Populations

Article

This research systematically reviews literature written on studies that explored domestic violence, in order to estimate the prevalence and likelihood of domestic violence perpetration among male and female military personnel (active-duty or veteran) with a mental disorder.

Abstract

Military populations may experience more severe forms of domestic violence than the general population. Although mental disorders are associated with domestic violence perpetration among the general population, it is not clear whether this is the case for military populations. This review aims to establish the prevalence and odds of domestic violence perpetration among male and female military personnel with mental disorders. Searches of eleven electronic databases were supplemented by hand searches, reference screening, citation tracking and expert recommendations. Ten studies were included; nine reporting on partner violence and one on violence against an adult family member. Median prevalence estimates were calculated for partner violence perpetration among male military personnel with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); estimates on other disorders were not possible due to lack of data. 27.5 % of men with PTSD reported past year physical violence perpetration against a partner and 91.0 % reported past year psychological violence perpetration against a partner. Due to limited data, no median estimates could be calculated for female military personnel. Data from individual papers indicate increased odds of past year partner violence perpetration among male and female military personnel with depression; inconsistent findings were reported for risk of partner violence perpetration among male and female military personnel with PTSD. There is some evidence that mental disorders among military personnel are associated with past year domestic violence perpetration, though current data cannot confirm direction of causality. Research is needed to inform the development of interventions targeted to reduce domestic violence perpetration among military personnel.

Full Reference

Trevillion, K., et al., 2015. "A Systematic Review of Mental Disorders and Perpetration of Domestic Violence among Military Populations", Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 50 (9), 1329-1346.