the present study was aimed at investigating male batterers' family of origin's parental style, and its relationship with anxiety symptoms in such men, by comparing these variables with men without a history of domestic violence with similar age, socio-economic status, education and marital status. a sample of 20 batterers and 20 men without a violence history was utilized. the instruments in portuguese included: a batterer's family of origin semi-structured interview, the parental style inventory, and the beck anxiety inventory (bai). both groups did not differ statistically in regards to age, socio-economic status, education and marital status. however, the groups were statistically different in terms of the variables family of origin's parental style and anxiety. it is suggested that anxiety, combined with family of origin's inappropriate parenting, may contribute to intimate partner violence. future studies could further investigate this possibility using larger samples.