BACKGROUND: Trauma and adverse experiences among perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV) have been associated with more serious patterns of offending.
OBJECTIVE: To examine 1) how traumatic and adverse experiences cluster together and co-occur among IPV perpetrators, and 2) whether different patterns of trauma exposure are associated with specific mental health problems.
PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: The sample consisted of 405 convicted IPV perpetrators from Northern Ireland.
METHODS: Data was collected between 2018 and 2019. Latent class analysis identified typologies of exposure to traumatic and adverse experiences. A series of binary logistic regression analyses explored associations between the identified classes and five categories of probable mental health problems.
RESULTS: Three adversity classes were identified: a baseline class (59.2%), characterised by relatively low levels of exposure to most types of adversity; a 'childhood adversity' class (32.9%), with high levels of childhood adversity; and a 'community violence and disadvantage' class (7.9%), which had high probabilities of endorsing adversities related to economic hardship and community violence. Regression analyses showed that the childhood adversity class was significantly associated with increased likelihood of all categories of mental health problems, except for neurodevelopmental disorders (ORs = 1.77-3.25). The community violence and disadvantage class was significantly associated with probable mood and anxiety disorder (ORs 3.92 and 8.42, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Different patterns of exposure to adversities were associated with distinct mental health problems in the present sample. Early intervention to prevent poly-victimisation, the clustering of adversities in childhood and the resulting accumulation of risk may be a useful component of preventive responses for IPV in Northern Ireland.