The Self-Control Strength Model of Family Violence within a genetically informative design (WC2016-009)


Starting date: 01/10/2015

Every year millions of people experience family violence. About 275 million children experience child abuse. More than 30 percent of women in relationships experience intimate partner violence during their lifetime. Exposure to family violence is one of the most important risk factors for physical disease, psychopathology, professional and academic failure, delinquency, substance use, and suicide. Importantly, experiencing family violence predicts people’s use of violence themselves. With these skyrocketing numbers of people exposed to family violence, and striking figures on associated risks for wellbeing, it is obvious that family violence poses a challenge to society and health care. Despite significant advances, mechanisms explaining associations between family violence and psychosocial problems remain largely unknown, which hinders explaining and predicting family violence and, importantly, hampers the development of effective interventions. This project investigates the Self-Control Strength Model of Family Violence: an intriguing, novel perspective on the effects of family violence, suggesting that self-control strength is key to explaining how family violence is maintained and when and why it causes such myriad problems. Importantly, we will cross disciplinary boundaries by investigating how genetically and environmentally induced differences between individuals moderate the hypothesized effects of self-control strength.