Status mismatch and self-reported intimate partner violence in the European Union: does the country's context matter?

L. van Vugt*, I.A. Pop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We explore whether status mismatch in education or income within couples is associated with self-reported intimate partner violence (IPV) and whether a country's context relates to this. We used data collected by the 'FRA Violence Against Women Survey' in 2012, and we identified three dimensions of self-reported IPV: IPV via controlling behaviour, psychological IPV, and physical IPV. Based on logistic multilevel estimates of approximately 21,000 women in 27 European countries, we found that women, who were higher educated or earned more than their partners, were more likely to report all three types of IPV. We tested the impact of the societal context by looking at gender ideology, crime rates and the acceptance of domestic violence within a country. Our results suggest that only the level of crime directly impacts IPV, albeit only through controlling behaviour and psychological forms. Furthermore, none of the contextual characteristics moderate the relationship between status mismatch and IPV. Therefore, at least in our sample of European countries, the individual-level factors seem to weigh more than the societal context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-309
Number of pages27
JournalEuropean Societies
Issue number3
Early online date3 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2022


  • Intimate partner violence against women
  • status mismatch
  • contextual factors
  • European Union
  • RISK
  • NEED

Cite this