Effect of incorporating catastrophic equations into an agent-based model of women's action-taking in violent relationships

David Katerndahl, Sandra Burge, Robert Ferrer, Robert Wood, Maria del Pilar Montanez Villacampa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Based upon multiple time series studies, an agent-based model (ABM) of women's decision-making related to partner violence was developed. However, help-seeking, legal action and leaving could be modeled as catastrophic phenomena, but catastrophic effects were not included in this prior ABM. The purpose of this study was to incorporate cusp catastrophe equations into the prior ABM to determine the impact upon her action-taking. Building upon this prior ABM of women's decision-making, we added cusp-related equations and compared resultant patterns and impacts of stress and interventions against those of the prior ABM. To assess the potential impact that random stress and her behavior could have on violence and stalking, the effect of variable parameter settings of these factors were assessed. Adding cusp equations to the prior ABM resulted in more legal action-taking for most of these patterns, many showing the effects of the bifurcation variables, and more women leaving in half of the patterns, but at the expense of increasing instability and more distortion effects. However, help-seeking was most impacted by possible interventions. In conclu-sion, adding cusp equations to the model had significant effects on modeling action-taking, especially for legal action and leaving while affecting the impact of interventions on help-seeking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-304
Number of pages32
JournalNonlinear dynamics, psychology, and life sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


  • Battered women
  • Domestic violence
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Spousal abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of incorporating catastrophic equations into an agent-based model of women's action-taking in violent relationships'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this