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Social correlates of specialized versus versatile offending patterns in intimate partner violence: A register-based study in Finland

Published onApr 20, 2022
Social correlates of specialized versus versatile offending patterns in intimate partner violence: A register-based study in Finland
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Social correlates of specialized versus versatile offending patterns in intimate partner violence: A register-based study in Finland
Description

Purpose The purpose of the current study was to examine the tendencies toward specialization and generalist offending among intimate partner violence (IPV) offenders and to assess whether some well-known correlates of criminal offending are differentially associated with various offending patterns. Method We use large-scale register-based data from Finland including all offenders in police-recorded cases of IPV between 2015 and 2019 (N = 19,030). Two different analytic approaches suggested for research on offense specialization are used: the multilevel item response theory (IRT) approach and latent class analysis (LCA). Results Significant tendencies toward both specialization and generalist offending were found in the data using both analysis methods. In addition, the correlates were differentially associated with specialized versus versatile offending patterns. Specialization in IPV was associated with, for example, female gender, older age, higher socioeconomic status, and having an immigrant background. The findings also show IPV specialization and generalist offending to be differentially associated with different victimization types. Conclusions The findings suggest that the idea of IPV offenders as specialists who do not engage in violence and crime in other contexts is not empirically fully accurate. Implications for future research, theory, and prevention policies are discussed.

 

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