Examining Executive Functioning as a Moderator of Intimate Partner Violence Risk in Veterans

Hannah E. Cole, Ohad Gilbar, Katherine E. Gnall, Christopher I. Eckhardt, Casey T. Taft*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study examined the inter-relationships among posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, cognitive bias, executive functioning deficits, and intimate partner violence (IPV) outcomes in a sample of 104 military veterans who had served in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Veteran participants completed questionnaires, a neuropsychological assessment, and a laboratory procedure assessing social information (SIP) processing biases during a single assessment, and collateral reports of IPV from intimate partners were obtained for 69 participants via telephone interviews. Findings indicated that executive functioning deficits in the areas of inhibition and impulsivity were associated with increased risk for all IPV perpetration outcomes, and these risk factors also moderated the association between cognitive bias and psychological IPV. Cognitive inflexibility also appeared to moderate the associations between both PTSD symptoms and cognitive bias with injurious IPV, though the latter moderated relationship was marginally significant. Findings suggest the salience of executive functioning deficits with respect to understanding IPV perpetration risk from a trauma-informed, SIP perspective, and highlight several possible clinical strategies that may enhance intervention.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1419-1430
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.


  • Executive functioning
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Social information processing
  • Trauma


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