Subtypes of female intimate partner violence suspects: implications for the validity of the ODARA with females

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University of New Brunswick


Less research is available on risk appraisal for female perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV) relative to male offender. The current study examined police records of 151 adult female IPV suspects to obtain risk appraisal information from the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment tool (ODARA; Hilton et al., 2004) and measures of the index IPV event, suspect and victim characteristics. The most robust predictor of subsequent female IPV was greater severity of borderline/antisocial personality features, whereas the ODARA was not predictive of female IPV. Latent cluster analysis failed to identify clusters of female IPV suspects based on key variables. A series of exploratory analyses identified differences between three groups based on IPV recidivism outcomes (a “no recidivism” group, n = 105; a “new police contact” group, n = 28; an “at least arrested” group, n = 18). These groups differed based on borderline/antisocial personality characteristics, mental health issues, suicidal tendencies, and previous weapon use. Overall, the current findings demonstrate the need for female-relevant IPV risk appraisal tools and the role of personality features in that risk appraisal. Keywords: intimate partner violence, female offenders, clusters, risk assessment, personality, borderline, antisocial, ODARA