Control Issues: Examining the Relationship between Low Self-Control and Intimate Partner Violence for both Perpetrators and Victims


  • Sriram Chintakrindi California State University, Stanislaus, USA
  • Suditi Gupta California State University, Stanislaus, USA



Intimate partner violence, low self-control, social learning, risk-factors, theory testing


Gottfredson and Hirschi’s (1990) low self-control theory is linked to individual-level non-violent and violent criminal offending. In this study, we examine secondary-data collected from a transnational sample of survey respondents (n = 17404) to test a predictive model of low self-control on outcomes related to intimate partner violence for both perpetrators and victims. We control for several variables related to socio-demographic characteristics, substance use history, and deviance history when we test our model using logistic regression analysis. The results from our analysis indicates that a unidimensional measure of low self-control is a consistent and statistically significant predictor of outcomes related to intimate partner violence, even when control variables are entered into the model. These findings have strong policy implications for identifying risk-factors and interventions associated with intimate partner violence.


Akers, R. L. (1991). Self-control as a general theory of crime. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 7(2), 201-211. DOI:

Arneklev, B. J., Grasmick, H. G., Tittle, C. R., & Bursik Jr, R. J. (1993). Low self-control and imprudent behavior. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 9(3), 225-247. DOI:

Arneklev, B. J., Cochran, J. K., & Gainey, R. R. (1998). Testing Gottfredson and Hirschi’s ‘low self-control’ stability hypothesis: An exploratory study. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 23, 107–127. DOI:

Avakame, E. F. (1998). Intergenerational transmission of violence, self-control, and conjugal violence: A comparative analysis of physical violence and psychological aggression. Violence and victims, 13(3), 301-316. DOI:

Bookwala, J., Frieze, I. H., Smith, C., & Ryan, K. (1992). Predictors of dating violence: A multivariate analysis. Violence and victims, 7(4), 297-311. DOI:

Chapple, C. L., & Hope, T. L. (2003). An analysis of the self-control and criminal versatility of gang and dating violence offenders. Violence and victims, 18(6), 671-690. DOI:

Chintakrindi, S., Porter, J. R., Mellow, J., & Sung, H. E. (2015). Empirical test of low self-control theory using post-treatment substance use and recidivism outcomes of parolees participating in an experimental intervention. Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law & Society, 16, 14.

Cretacci, M. A. (2008). A general test of self-control theory: Has its importance been exaggerated? International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 52(5), 538–553. DOI:

DeWall, C. N., Baumeister, R. F., Stillman, T. F., & Gailliot, M. T. (2007). Violence restrained: Effects of self-regulation and its depletion on aggression. Journal of Experimental social psychology, 43(1), 62-76. DOI:

Finkel, E. J., DeWall, C. N., Slotter, E. B., Oaten, M., & Foshee, V. A. (2009). Self-regulatory failure and intimate partner violence perpetration. Journal of personality and social psychology, 97(3), 483. DOI:

Flexon, J. L., Meldrum, R. C., & Piquero, A. R. (2016). Low Self-Control and the Victim–Offender Overlap A Gendered Analysis. Journal of interpersonal violence, 31(11), 2052-2076. DOI:

Follingstad, D. R., Wright, S., Lloyd, S., & Sebastian, J. A. (1991). Sex differences in motivations and effects in dating violence. Family Relations, 51-57. DOI:

Follingstad, D. R., Bradley, R. G., Laughlin, J. E., & Burke, L. (1999). Risk factors and correlates of dating violence: The relevance of examining frequency and severity levels in a college sample. Violence and victims, 14(4), 365-380. DOI:

Follingstad, D. R., Bradley, R. G., Helff, C. M., & Laughlin, J. E. (2002). A model for predicting dating violence: Anxious attachment, angry temperament, and need for relationship control. Violence and victims, 17(1), 35-47. DOI:

Geis, G. (2000). On the absence of self-control as the basis for a general theory of crime: A critique. Theoretical Criminology, 4(1), 35-53. DOI:

Goodmark, L. (2018). Decriminalizing domestic violence: A balanced policy approach to intimate partner violence (Vol. 7). University of California Press. DOI:

Gottfredson, M. R., & Hirschi, T. (1990). A general theory of crime. Stanford University Press. DOI:

Gottfredson, M. R., & Hirschi, T. (2016). The Criminal Career Perspective as an Explanation of Crime and a Guide to Crime Control Policy The View from General Theories of Crime. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 53(3), 406-419. DOI:

Grasmick, H. G., Tittle, C. R., Bursik, R. J., & Arneklev, B. J. (1993). Testing the core empirical implications of Gottfredson and Hirschi's general theory of crime. Journal of research in crime and delinquency, 30(1), 5-29. DOI:

Holtfreter, Kristy & Reisig, Michael & Pratt, Travis. (2008). Low Self-Control, Routine Activities, and Fraud Victimization. Criminology. 46. 189 - 220. DOI:

Jennings, W. G., Park, M., Tomsich, E. A., Gover, A. R., & Akers, R. L. (2011). Assessing the overlap in dating violence perpetration and victimization among South Korean college students: The influence of social learning and self-control. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 36(2), 188-206. DOI:

Kim, C., & Sung, H. E. (2016). Characteristics and Risk Factors of Chinese Immigrant Intimate Partner Violence Victims in New York City and the Role of Supportive Social Networks. The Family Journal, 24(1), 60-69. DOI:

Langton, L. (2006). Low self-control and parole failure: An assessment of risk from a theoretical perspective. Journal of Criminal Justice, 34, 469–478. DOI:

O'Keefe, M. (1997). Predictors of dating violence among high school students. Journal of interpersonal violence, 12(4), 546-568. DOI:

Pratt, T. C., & Cullen, F. T. (2000). The empirical status of Gottfredson and Hirschi's general theory of crime: A meta‐analysis. Criminology, 38(3), 931-964. DOI:

Pratt, T. C., Turanovic, J. J., Fox, K. A., & Wright, K. A. (2014). Self‐control and victimization: A meta‐analysis. Criminology, 52(1), 87-116. DOI:

Rebellon, C. J., Straus, M. A., & Medeiros, R. (2008). Self-Control in Global Perspective An Empirical Assessment of Gottfredson and Hirschi's General Theory Within and Across 32 National Settings. European journal of criminology, 5(3), 331-361. DOI:

Scott, K., & Straus, M. (2007). Denial, minimization, partner blaming, and intimate aggression in dating partners. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 22(7), 851-871. DOI:

Sellers, C. S. (1999). Self-control and intimate violence: An examination of the scope and specification of the general theory of crime. Criminology, 37, 375. DOI:

Straus, M. A., & Ramirez, I. L. (2007). Gender symmetry in prevalence, severity, and chronicity of physical aggression against dating partners by university students in Mexico and USA. Aggressive Behavior, 33(4), 281-290. DOI:

Straus, Murray. International Dating Violence Study, 2001-2006. ICPSR29583-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-08-19. DOI:

Tittle, C. R., Ward, D.A., & Grasmick, H. G. (2003). Gender, age, and crime/deviance: A challenge to self-control theory. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 40(4), 426–453. DOI:

Widom, C. S., & Wilson, H. W. (2015). Intergenerational transmission of violence. In Violence and mental health (pp. 27-45). Springer, Dordrecht. DOI:

Widom, C. S. (1989). The cycle of violence. Science, 244(4901), 160-166. DOI:




How to Cite

Chintakrindi, S., & Gupta, S. (2022). Control Issues: Examining the Relationship between Low Self-Control and Intimate Partner Violence for both Perpetrators and Victims. International Journal of Criminology and Sociology, 11, 104–120.