Conceptualizing acts and behaviours that comprise intimate partner violence: a concept map

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This study aims to explore the conceptualization of intimate partner violence (IPV) among men and women from diverse subpopulations in Toronto, ON, Canada. Relatively few research efforts have been made to examine differences in conceptualizations of IPV across populations of different race and ethnic backgrounds.


Using concept mapping methodology, we sampled 67 women and men identified concepts and groups of concepts (domains) that reflected their understandings of the behaviours and attitudes that comprised IPV. We also determined the relative importance of each concept and domain as a contributor to IPV.


‘External and Cultural Influences’, ‘Victim Response to Abuse’ and ‘Social and Emotional Manipulation’ were a few domains that participants rated as moderately or highly important contributors to IPV. These conceptual domains are often left out of commonly used IPV measures.


Our findings have important implications for the conceptualization of IPV and for future IPV measurement and measurement tool development.

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