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Intimate partner violence: The interaction of psychological and sociocultural variables underlying female perpetration and male desistance in evolutionary context

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About This PhD Project

Project Description


Despite common belief to the contrary, in western societies women frequently perpetrate intimate partner violence. Family conflict research indicates no sex difference in perpetration of what they term 'common couple violence'. Despite this, research has largely focussed on male perpetrators and less is known about the psychological characteristics associated with female perpetration and male desistance, and their interaction with sociocultural variables. The project will be informed by consideration of the evolutionary basis of intimate partner violence.


The aim of this PhD will be to investigate the individual difference variables associated with female perpetration of and male desistance from intimate partner violence, and the role of sociocultural factors (such as western social norms). The project will also examine the interaction of these psychological and sociocultural variables.

Potential Applications

The findings of this research project are likely to have applied value in improving understanding of the nature of female perpetration of intimate partner violence, and its prevention.

Entry Requirements

Proposals are invited from self-funded full time applicants. The normal entry requirement for a research degree in psychology is a UK honours degree in Psychology (first or 2:1) or a UK Master’s degree in Psychology (or an international qualification that is regarded as equivalent). Overseas applicant must supply IELTS (British Council) Test: Minimum score level 6 in each of the four areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking with overall minimum score 6.5 issued within the last 2 years or degree certificate from UK or other English-language university awarded in last 2 years.

Information on PhD study, university fees, and making an application can be found at Start dates are 1 October, 1 February, and 1 May.

All international students studying at postgraduate level are awarded a £1,500 scholarship in each year of study. You do not have to apply for this scholarship; it is automatically applied to reduce your total annual tuition fee. The University of Sunderland is an eligible institution for U.S. (Federal School Code: G35073) and Canadian (EI Code: PUFL) Student Finance Programmes.

Related Subjects

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