Concept Mapping: Engaging Urban Men to Understand Community Influences on Partner Violence Perpetration

Charvonne N. Holliday, Sophie M. Morse, Nathan A. Irvin, Angelique Green-Manning, Lisa M. Nitsch, Jessica G. Burke, Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Michele R. Decker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant health concern rooted in community experiences and other social determinants. The purpose of this study is to understand community-based risk and protective factors of IPV perpetration through participatory research that engages men who use IPV. Secondarily, we assess the relative influence, as measured by ranking, of these factors regarding risk of IPV perpetration and stress. We conducted concept mapping with Baltimore men (n = 28), ages 18 and older, enrolled in an abuse intervention program (AIP), through partnership with a domestic violence agency. Concept mapping, a three-phase participatory process, generates ideas around an issue then visually presents impactful domains via multi-dimensional scaling and hierarchical clustering. Most participants were Black (87.5%) and 20–39 years old (75%). Seven key domains, or clusters, were established. “No hope for the future” was the greatest contributor to IPV perpetration. “Socioeconomic struggles” (i.e., lack of employment) and “life in Baltimore” (i.e., homicide) were most likely to result in stress. Emergent domains related to IPV perpetration and stress were ranked similarly, but with some nuance. Having good support systems (i.e., family, community centers) were felt to prevent IPV and reduce stress. This participant-driven process among a primarily young, Black sample of Baltimore men speaks to the influence of perceived social disempowerment and underlying trauma on intimate relationships and the potential for mitigation. Few studies have engaged men who use IPV through participatory research to understand the comprehensive dynamics of an impoverished, urban environment. Results provide direction for community-based intervention and prevention programming to increase self-efficacy, particularly among younger men, and to enact trauma-informed violence prevention policy from the perspectives of male IPV perpetrators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-111
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019


  • Concept mapping
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Men
  • Participatory research
  • Social determinants
  • Urban health
  • Violence perpetration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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