Impelling and Inhibiting Forces in the Perpetration of Intimate Partner Violence

Eli J. Finkel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The huge corpus of research identifying risk factors for intimate partner violence (IPV) has outpaced theoretical models explaining how these risk factors combine to exert their effects. This report presents a 2-stage process model investigating how a previously nonviolent interaction between intimate partners escalates to IPV. The first stage examines whether at least one partner experiences strong violence-impelling forces, which lead the individual to experience action tendencies toward IPV. The second examines whether the partner experiencing violence-impelling forces suffers from weak violence-inhibiting forces, which would otherwise serve to override such action tendencies. This model extends previous research by emphasizing the importance of inhibitory processes in IPV and by imposing a new conceptual structure on the identified IPV risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-207
Number of pages15
JournalReview of General Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • aggression
  • domestic violence
  • impelling/inhibiting model
  • intimate partner violence
  • self-regulation


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