To systematically review the misrepresentations and misapplications of Johnson’s typology of violence in the empirical research on intimate partner violence (IPV).
We systematically review and critically evaluate conceptual and methodological errors in the peer-reviewed, empirical IPV research that tests Johnson’s typology, published 1995 to March 31, 2021.
Thirty-four studies meeting our inclusion criteria were deemed to be conceptual misrepresentations and/or methodological misapplications in testing Johnson’s typology, to varying degrees.
Direct tests of Johnson’s typology and related assumptions are necessary for evaluating the validity and utility of the typology. However, errors in conceptualization and/or operationalization ultimately preclude fair testing of the typology, whether study findings refute or support its use. Our review of the literature suggests that a sizeable amount of empirical evidence is flawed, hindering potential theoretical advances, and provides insight to the ongoing impasse between feminist and family violence scholars regarding the validity and utility of Johnson’s typology.