Many theories about the causes of domestic violence have been propounded. Some of these theories include the psychological theory, biological and social theory.
· Biological factors
Some people have linked domestic violence to genetics factors and dysfunction of the brain. Enormous research is being carried out in this area by neuroscientists in order to fully understand the link between genes and domestic violence. Some proponents of this theory think that it is more likely for children of a person that genetically abuse his or her partner to also abuse their partners because of genetic factors.
· Psychological theory
Psychological theories explain the cause of domestic violence from the point of view of the mental characteristics and personality traits of the offender which include such traits as poor self-esteem, poor impulse control and bursts of anger. Many of the proponents of these theories are of the view that personality disorders, psychopathology and the abuse a person was exposed to as a child can make him or her to become violent to his or her partner in adulthood. Numerous studies conducted on this have discovered psychopathic incidences among the abusers.
However, the claims of psychological theorists have been refuted by some intellectuals like Gelles. These people are of the opinion that domestic violence is more caused by social factors rather than psychological factors. They noted that only 10% or less cases of domestic violence can be linked to the psychological profile of the abuser.
· Mental illness
It has been discovered through research that people with mental problems or derangement have tendencies of abusing their partners. Psychiatric disorders such as antisocial personality disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, drug abuse, alcoholism, bipolar disorder and the likes are associated with domestic violence. It has been established through studies that about 1/3 of abusers suffer from any of these psychiatric disorders.
· Marital conflict disorder
One of the major causes of domestic violence is marital conflict. It is more likely to have incidences of domestic violence among couples that have problems with their relationship. There are many factors that can cause relationship problems. One of the major causes of marital conflict disorders is lack of compatibility. When two people who are not compatible or whose lifestyles do not match get married, they are likely to have problems in their marital life. Financial problems in marriage can also lead to relationship problems. If these problems are not well managed or settled, it can aggravate to domestic violence.
Jealousy rears its ugly head in many ways in a relationship and it can lead to domestic violence. There are some people who became jealous of their partners’ achievements. Sometimes, these people manifest their jealousy and disappointments by abusing their partners. Infidelity or unfaithfulness in marriage is another factor that can also lead to jealousy in marriage.
· Social factors
Domestic violence has also been associated or linked to social factors which include stress, family structure and social learning. These factors can ignite or strike off domestic violence but they are not basically the cause of domestic violence.