Associations of substance dependencies and experiences with intimate partner violence (IPV) were examined in a community sample of 146 female participants in a longitudinal study of couples. The women with a history of dependence on hard drugs (but not alcohol, cannabis, or sedatives) were more likely to also have perpetrated IPV. However, only women dependent on cocaine were more likely to have been a victimized by their male partners. Psychological IPV was found to be more stable across time than physical IPV, but associations of substance abuse with IPV did not vary by IPV type. Findings were compared with results from a prior study of men’s substance abuse and IPV that also found associations between dependence on hard drugs (but not alcohol dependence alone) and perpetration of IPV.
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- Go to article: An Exploration of the Needs of Men Experiencing Domestic Abuse: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis
An Exploration of the Needs of Men Experiencing Domestic Abuse: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis
This study determines the needs of men experiencing domestic abuse from an intimate partner. In-depth interviews with 6 men who sought support are analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA). Four master themes (interpreted as needs) are identified from analysis, “recognition” (of male victims and the impact), “safety,” “accepting domestic abuse,” and “rebuilding.” A need for recognition is identified as the dominant theme influencing the capacity for the 3 remaining needs to be met. Domestic abuse is generally understood to be a gendered, heteronormative experience. Abused men are not acknowledged as “typical” victims. The lack of recognition prevented participants from accepting and recognizing their victimization resulting in delayed help-seeking and prolonged abuse. A joint commitment is required from policy and practice to raise the profile of abused men, challenge wider society's prevailing norms, and embed equal status for all victims.
This study employed a dyadic data analysis approach to examine the association between partners’ dispositional empathy and intimate partner violence (IPV). Data were collected from 1,156 couples, who were participants in Wave 3 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). For both IPV perpetration and IPV victimization, significant actor effects for men and significant partner effects for men to women emerged: Men who were less empathic were more likely to perpetrate IPV and to be victimized. Similarly, women whose men partners were less empathic were more likely to perpetrate IPV and to be victimized. Findings partially generalized to analyses assessing the associations between empathy and the different types of IPV (psychological, physical, sexual IPV, and occurrence of injury from IPV) separately. The present findings show that men’s levels of empathy may carry more weight in determining their own as well as their partners’ aggressive behaviors than do women’s levels of empathy.
- Go to article: The Relationship Between Dating Violence and Bystander Behavior: An Initial Investigation
Preliminary research has demonstrated the utility of bystander interventions in reducing sexual assault (Coker et al., 2011; Moynihan & Banyard, 2008), and initial research has begun extending this type of intervention to dating violence broadly (i.e., physical and psychological aggression). However, there are many unexplored factors that may increase or decrease the likelihood that individuals will engage in bystander behavior. One such factor is previous experiences with dating violence and sexual assault. Thus, this study examined prior dating violence and sexual assault experiences and endorsement of bystander behaviors in a large sample of college students (N = 2,430). We hypothesized that individuals with a history of dating and sexual assault victimization would be more likely to report engaging in bystander behaviors relative to nonvictims. The relationship between prior dating violence perpetration on bystander behavior was also explored. Results demonstrated that individuals with physical and sexual, but not psychological, victimization histories reported more frequent bystander behavior. Furthermore, perpetrators of physical violence were more likely than nonperpetrators to report bystander behavior, particularly among females. Findings provide preliminary evidence that prior experiences with dating violence and sexual assault may impact bystander behavior. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
- Go to article: Prevalence and Correlates of Psychological Aggression in Male and Female College Students From Mainland China: An Exploratory Study
Prevalence and Correlates of Psychological Aggression in Male and Female College Students From Mainland China: An Exploratory Study
Using data from 209 college students from 2 universities in Mainland China, the prevalence and correlates of psychological aggression perpetration for men and women were examined. Results indicated that 82.8% of men and 90.4% of women had committed at least one act of psychological aggression against his or her current romantic partner over the course of their relationship. Being a victim of physical assault from his partner and higher levels of stress were associated with men’s perpetration of psychological aggression. For women, physical assault victimization, greater alcohol use, and higher levels of shame were all related to psychological aggression perpetration. The results suggest the need for additional research to understand the development of psychological aggression within this population and to further adapt and refine intervention programs to reduce such violence.
The knowledge of same-sex intimate partner violence (IPV) is limited. This study aims to investigate the perception of seriousness of same-sex IPV. A vignette study was undertaken among 248 police students (69% males and 31% females) in Sweden. The vignettes portrayed an intimate partner relationship between two people and were available in four versions with the sex of the offender and victim being alternated. Perceptions of IPV were measured using the Opinions of Domestic Violence Scale (Ahmed et al., 2013). The results showed that regardless of gender, IPV was considered serious; however, same-sex IPV was perceived as less serious than victimization of a heterosexual female but more serious than victimization of a heterosexual male. Police interventions were found to be less needed for same-sex victims than for heterosexual female victims.
- Go to article: Gender Symmetry or Asymmetry in Intimate Partner Victimization? Not an Either/Or Answer
Gender differences in physical victimization, sexual victimization, injury, fear, and depressive symptoms were assessed in a representative community sample of 453 young couples. The prevalence of any physical victimization experienced by women and men did not differ (29% vs. 30%), but men reported more severe physical victimization than women. No difference in prevalence of overall injury was observed, but more women reported severe injury than men. Almost twice as many women as men reported being sexually victimized (28% vs. 15%). Physically victimized females reported more fear of their partners than physically victimized men and than nonvictimized women. Physically victimized men and women, sexually victimized men and women, and physically injured men and women all had more depressive symptoms than those men and women who were not victimized or injured. Severely victimized women were 3 times more likely than severely victimized men to have depression scores in the clinical range (27% vs. 9%). In sum, whether one finds gender symmetry regarding aggression and its correlates depends on more than simple prevalence of aggression by men and women.
- Go to article: Neurotransmitter and Neurochemical Factors in Domestic Violence Perpetration: Implications for Theory Development
Neurotransmitter and Neurochemical Factors in Domestic Violence Perpetration: Implications for Theory Development
Research on neurotransmitters and behavior is a vital and expanding area of study. As in other areas of empirical study of domestic violence, this remains an underdeveloped field of inquiry. Although a rigorous literature exists indicating a much broader range of neuropsychological risk factors for violence in general, policies regarding the study and treatment of domestic violence perpetration often disregard or forbid considerations of those factors. This current effort at theory development is a continuation of several prior works where the conceptual and empirical rationale for a broader explanatory theoretical framework for domestic violence perpetration is put forth. In this review, links between neurochemical anomalies, dysfunctional coping, and domestic violence perpetration are reviewed in light of their contribution to a biopsychosocial theory of domestic violence perpetration.
- Go to article: Measurement Invariance in the Assessment of Intimate Partner Abuse Among Sexual Minority and Non-Sexual Minority Individuals
Measurement Invariance in the Assessment of Intimate Partner Abuse Among Sexual Minority and Non-Sexual Minority Individuals
Research suggests that sexual minorities (SMs) experience a higher risk of IPA than their heterosexual counterparts. The extent of this problem is likely underestimated and not fully understood due to limitations in our assessment of ways IPA uniquely manifests among SMs. Three forms of IPA that have been discussed in the literature are physical aggression, psychological aggression, and controlling behaviors. In the current study, we assessed the measure invariance of the assessment of these forms of IPA between SM and non-SMs. Participants were recruited using Amazon Mechanical Turk Crowdsourcing Platform. We recruited 338 participants between the ages of 18–59 years old. Of those, 47.3% (n = 160) described their sexual orientation as straight/heterosexual, 28.1% (n = 95) bisexual, 10.1% (n = 34) gay, 4.7% (n = 16) lesbian, 3.0% (n = 10) as asexual, 3.8% (n = 13) as pansexual, 3.0% (n = 10) as queer. Similar to previous research, fits for the overall model for both SMs and non-SMs were poor. However, measurement weights, structural covariances, and measurement residuals models were all significantly different from the unconstrained model, exhibiting a meaningful difference in assessment of IPA between the two groups. Results suggest that experiences of IPA may not be adequately captured by this measure, particularly for SM individuals. Future research should examine the unique and shared experiences of SM and non-SM IPA survivors.
There is an increasing recognition of men as victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) within the academic literature and the public narrative. Statistics suggest that one in three victims in the United Kingdom (UK; specifically, England and Wales) are male, with some academic literature suggesting the ratio of female to male victims could be even closer (e.g., Archer, 2000). Domestic Abuse services and agencies (including the police and health services) can be an integral part of victim disclosure. However, the evidence suggests that there are a number of barriers that inhibit help-seeking (Bates, 2020); and when help is sought it is not always a positive experience (Taylor et al., 2021). These internal and external barriers can lead to missed opportunities to intervene and support men to escape abuse or prevent higher risk cases from escalation. The aim of the current study was to explore the engagement of male victims and the service responses through analysis of Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs). A thematic analysis of 22 DHRs was completed and the findings suggested there is often a dismissal of women's abusive acts towards men by services, and men (as victims) are also more likely to be arrested than their partners. Half of the DHRs stated that services had insufficient guidance regarding the identification and treatment of male IPV victims, and there were a significant number of men whose injuries were dismissed by the police and other safeguarding services. It is clear from the findings that domestic abuse services are not currently working inclusively, and this serves as an additional barrier to male help-seeking victims. Limitations of this study and future implications for research and policy are discussed.
- Go to article: What Services Exist for LGBTQ Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence in Batterer Intervention Programs Across North America? A Qualitative Study
What Services Exist for LGBTQ Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence in Batterer Intervention Programs Across North America? A Qualitative Study
The purpose of this study was to determine available services for LGBTQ clients in domestic violence batterer intervention programs across North America and to ascertain which theoretical models informed these services.
Data collected from the North American Survey of DomesticViolence Intervention Programs were analyzed using deductive and inductive coding. Using guidelines established by the American Association for Public Opinion Research, the response rate for mailings was 20% and for e-mails was 45%.
Respondents indicated a range of approaches to LGBTQ clients from doing nothing specific to serving LGBTQ clients with one-on-one sessions.
Recommendations include more LGBTQ facilitators, developing curricula that addresses homophobia, issues related to family of origin, and foster methods of outreach to the LGBTQ community to make those affected aware of treatment possibilities. Moreover, evidence suggests a disconnect between practitioners and researchers when it comes to defining and treating the problem of intimate partner violence in LGBTQ relationships.
Practitioners should not only undergo cultural training and provide LGBTQ-specific curricula, but also engage how and why such social inequality exists and persists. Further implications for policy and treatment are discussed.
- Go to article: Examining the Reactions of Women in Substance Use Treatment as Participants in a Study on Intimate Partner Violence: Does Shame Proneness Matter?
Examining the Reactions of Women in Substance Use Treatment as Participants in a Study on Intimate Partner Violence: Does Shame Proneness Matter?
Women in treatment for substance use report higher levels of intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization and perpetration than the general population. Despite an abundance of research with this vulnerable population, no study has examined the research reactions of women in substance use treatment who participate in a study of IPV. Thus, we investigated the research reactions of women (N = 64) in substance use treatment who completed a self-report measure on their psychological, physical, and sexual IPV. We also examined whether shame proneness—an affective predisposition to scrutinize and criticize oneself— moderated the association between reports of IPV and negative emotional research reactions. This information is important for institutional review boards (IRBs) and researchers in determining the most ethical and appropriate protections for participants in IPV research. Findings demonstrated that victims and perpetrators of IPV did not differ from nonvictims/nonperpetrators on negative emotional research reactions. Victims of psychological aggression reported more positive research experiences than nonvictims. Shame proneness did not moderate the relationship between IPV reports (victimization or perpetration) and negative emotional reactions, although shame proneness did exert a main effect on negative emotional research reactions. Findings add to a growing body of research on participant reactions to IPV research. Our results further support the safety of self-report IPV research.
- Go to article: Stalking Perpetration in Dating Relationships: The Role of Anger Management and Emotion Regulation
Stalking is a form of dating violence that has typically been studied after relationship termination, despite evidence suggesting that stalking often occurs within current dating relationships. Consequently, there is a dearth of research on correlates of stalking perpetration among intact dating relationships. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to examine correlates of stalking perpetration among college men and women in intact dating relationships (N = 627) in order to identify possible risk factors for stalking perpetration. Using the dating violence literature and theoretical models for intimate partner violence perpetration as a guide, two potential correlates of stalking were examined: emotion regulation and anger management. Results demonstrated that anger management was positively correlated with stalking perpetration in men and women, and emotion regulation was also consistently correlated to stalking perpetration in women. Given that this is the first known study to examine correlates of stalking perpetration behaviors in dating college students, our findings provide a base from which additional investigations can be developed.
The Instigating-Impelling-Inhibiting model of intimate partner violence (IPV) etiology, or “I3 Model,” is presented as a meta-theoretical alternative to traditional perspectives regarding treatment models for perpetrators of IPV. The I3 Model is a meta-theoretical approach to understanding IPV risk that, when applied to IPV intervention programs, incorporates practically any therapeutic component that aims to decrease individual's exposure to instigating contexts, target any individual or situational factor that impels IPV, and increase an individual's ability to inhibit an aggressive response. In this review, we first briefly summarize the IPV literature and existing intervention models. Second, we review the I3 Model and illustrate its promise as a guiding framework for understanding IPV risk and its broad relevance to etiology and intervention. Third, we discuss the conceptual application of this framework to intervention with IPV perpetrators. Fourth, we identify factors that may promote as well as complicate I3 Model-related intervention developments.
- Go to article: It's Complicated: Incident- and Observer-Level Predictors of Blame and Justification for Reciprocated Psychological and Minor Physical Violence
It's Complicated: Incident- and Observer-Level Predictors of Blame and Justification for Reciprocated Psychological and Minor Physical Violence
We examined whether incident- and observer-level factors found previously to influence blame assignment and foster justification for severe unidirectional partner aggression would replicate in the context of reciprocated psychological and minor physical dating violence. We employed a factorial vignette methodology, simultaneously varying the form of the violence (i.e., psychological or minor physical), gender of the initiator and retaliator, alcohol use, history of aggression, and commitment status. Observer-level variables included participant gender, history of dating violence perpetration and victimization, and social desirability. Using a sample of 321 undergraduates, we found that initiating violence with physical versus psychological tactics was judged comparably in terms of blame, but responding with symmetrical physical violence was viewed more negatively than the reciprocation of psychological aggression. Men's aggression was more negatively evaluated only in situations involving physical force, except in cases where the woman's capacity to inflict physical harm was comparable. Other characteristics of the incident (e.g., alcohol use) and observer (e.g., gender) were also relevant, but their effects were tethered to the particulars of the violent exchange or the type of attribution being solicited. Asymmetrical violence (e.g., physical response to psychological initiation) appeared to elicit the most attributional activity with respect to the predictors. Exploratory analyses also revealed that participants with intimate partner violence (IPV) histories responded differently to vignettes wherein the violence initiator had aggressed previously. The overall pattern of results highlights that attributions about dating violence are complexly determined and contextualized, and that the form and relative symmetry of the violence may shape how incident- and observer-level variables impact evaluations of blame and justification.
- Go to article: A Preliminary Exploration of the Influence of Intimate Partner Violence Victimization on Perceptions of Others’ Intimate Partner Violence Experiences
A Preliminary Exploration of the Influence of Intimate Partner Violence Victimization on Perceptions of Others’ Intimate Partner Violence Experiences
Psychological intimate partner violence (IPV) will impact almost half of US adults throughout the lifespan and as many as 80% of undergraduate college students; however, psychological IPV remains understudied. Examining perceptions of IPV can aid in the identification of potential barriers to treatment seeking and advance intervention efforts. The current study intended to determine how myths and stigmatizing beliefs about IPV affected the minimization (i.e., neutralization) of IPV acts and how history of psychological IPV victimization could moderate the aforementioned associations.
Participants were undergraduate students in the southeastern United States (N = 52) who were currently, or had previously been, in a relationship for at least 1 month. Data were collected regarding IPV victimization and perpetration and perceptions of IPV, including stigmatizing beliefs, myth endorsement, and neutralizing beliefs.
Findings indicated that those reporting higher levels of psychological IPV victimization endorsed more neutralizing beliefs about IPV more stigmatizing beliefs about females experiencing IPV victimization, compared to those reporting fewer stigmatizing beliefs towards females experiencing IPV. That is, individuals who have experienced psychological IPV and also stigmatize females experiencing IPV victimization may tend to normalize IPV.
Findings illuminate how perceptions and personal experiences of IPV can minimize someone’s views of the severity of others’ IPV victimization. This research has implications for highlighting barriers to help-seeking behaviors for individuals experiencing IPV and informing future studies about help-seeking in undergraduate populations.
- Go to article: Bystander Prevention of Sexual and Dating Violence: An Experimental Evaluation of Online and In-Person Bystander Intervention Programs
Bystander Prevention of Sexual and Dating Violence: An Experimental Evaluation of Online and In-Person Bystander Intervention Programs
Rates of sexual violence (SV) and dating violence (DV) are high on college campuses; federal law mandates colleges provide SV/DV prevention programming to incoming students. Programs showing the strongest empirical support are bystander programs; however, their small group format makes it impractical to use them with large student bodies. In a pilot feasibility study, we compared in-person and e-intervention SV/DV bystander intervention programs and randomly assigned 562 students to one of the programs. Students completed measures of knowledge and attitudes at 3 points over 6 months. Both groups changed significantly in the expected direction on all measures, with no differences between groups in change over time. Results suggest that e-interventions may be a viable alternative to in-person SV/DV programs for meeting federal mandates.
- Go to article: The Effects of Intimate Partner Violence on Relationship Satisfaction Over Time for Young At-Risk Couples: The Moderating Role of Observed Negative and Positive Affect
The Effects of Intimate Partner Violence on Relationship Satisfaction Over Time for Young At-Risk Couples: The Moderating Role of Observed Negative and Positive Affect
In the current study, the moderating effects of observed negative and positive affects on the association between intimate partner violence (IPV, physical aggression) and relationship satisfaction were examined over a 5-year period. Multiwave data were obtained from a sample of young adult men at risk for delinquency and their women partners (n = 121 couples; ages 21–26 years). The trajectory of each partner’s relationship satisfaction and the effects of dyadic IPV and affect were tested using HLM analyses and a two-level (within-couple and between-couple) dyadic growth model. Average levels of dyadic positive affect were associated with relationship satisfaction for both men and women. For men, increases in couples’ positive affect over time were linked to increases in relationship satisfaction, and increases in couples’ externalizing negative affect were linked to decreases in satisfaction. For women, higher levels of couples’ IPV predicted lower levels of satisfaction. Couples’ internalizing negative affect amplified the effects of IPV on satisfaction over time. Increases in IPV were associated with declines in satisfaction for couples with high levels of internalizing negative affect. Conversely, average levels of externalizing negative affect did not amplify the association between IPV and relationship satisfaction. In fact, the adverse influence of IPV on relationship satisfaction was greater for couples who displayed low levels of externalizing negative affect. Because of the inverse association between externalizing negative affect and relationship satisfaction, these findings were interpreted to suggest that the salience of IPV was greater in couples whose relationship satisfaction was not already impaired by high levels of negative affect.
- Go to article: Emerging Treatment Models and Programs in Intimate Partner Violence Treatment: An Introduction
In the culmination of 17 manuscripts by more than 40 scholars, the peer-reviewed journal Partner Abuse published the Partner Abuse State of Knowledge (PASK), the largest scholarly scientific inquiry to date regarding the current state of knowledge for intimate partner violence (IPV), over several issues between 2012 and 2013. The purpose of this current two-volume special issue of Partner Abuse is to build upon these efforts, as promising empirical evidence has continued to unfold. The focus in this series centers on evidence-based treatment for victim–survivors and perpetrators of IPV. This introduction manuscript reviews the historical context of IPV and the evolvement of traditional IPV policies, programs, and treatment models. It then presents a brief overview of our current state of empirical knowledge regarding these traditional models. Finally, it highlights the emerging and promising models that will be presented throughout this two-part series.
- Go to article: Predictors of Discontinuation From Individual Treatment in Men Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence
Predictors of Discontinuation From Individual Treatment in Men Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence
Practitioners working with male perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV) observe high rates of treatment dropout in their clientele, which can undermine their ability to reduce the occurrence of IPV. Studies have also mostly documented predictors of dropout from group-format IPV treatment programs, but not from individual-format treatment modalities. This study aimed to identify the predictors and key moments of dropout in 206 French-Canadian men seeking individual treatment for IPV. Results of Cox regression survival analyses indicate that age, education, employment, court-ordered treatment, adult attachment, and the number of perpetrated acts of psychological violence were significant predictors of dropout. Findings highlight the need to assess and target those predictors early in treatment to help men remain in therapy and prevent further use of IPV.
- Go to article: The Reported Availability of U.S. Domestic Violence Services to Victims Who Vary by Age, Sexual Orientation, and Gender
The Reported Availability of U.S. Domestic Violence Services to Victims Who Vary by Age, Sexual Orientation, and Gender
Grassroots movements during the 1970s established several types of emergency services for battered women seeking to find refuge from or leave an abusive relationship. As time went by, the range of services offered by these agencies grew to include counseling, legal services, outreach, and other services, and battered women can now access over 2,000 domestic violence (DV) agencies throughout the United States for assistance. At the same time, these services have come under increasing scrutiny for their inability or unwillingness to provide their existing services to some populations of intimate partner violence (IPV) victims. In this article, we focus on DV agencies’ ability to provide their services to various populations that have documented evidence of being underserved due to their age, gender, and/or sexual orientation. We present information on the percentage of agencies that report being able to provide victim-related services to each of these groups. We also consider various regional, state, and agency characteristics that may predict the availability of services to these underserved groups. Overall, agencies report that adolescents and men are the least likely groups to which they are able to provide their victim services. Results are discussed utilizing a human rights perspective that stresses that all IPV victims, regardless of age, sexual orientation, or gender, should have access to services provided by DV agencies.
- Go to article: Profile of Female Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence in an Offender Population: Implications for Treatment
Profile of Female Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence in an Offender Population: Implications for Treatment
Despite evidence that the incidence of female-to-male intimate partner violence (IPV) in the general population is as high as that of male-to-female intimate violence, until recently little attention has been devoted to understanding women perpetrators of partner violence or to the design of programs to address their violence. This study explored the characteristics of female perpetrators of IPV in an offender population and examined the context, consequences, and motives for their aggression. There were 897 women serving a federal sentence in the Correctional Service of Canada at the time of data extraction, of whom 15% (n = 135) had a history of IPV. Results indicated that these offenders were most often classified as moderate criminal risk and high criminogenic need. Most had been victims of severe abuse during their youth and in adult relationships. Women’s motives for violence were diverse. Although most women had a history of mutual violence with their partners, 64% were the primary perpetrators in at least 1 incident. Violence in self-defense or in defense of their children were the least frequently coded categories. Similar to a comparison group of male offenders, the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment tool indicated that the most common risk factors associated with women’s IPV included past physical assault against intimate partners, substance abuse, and employment problems. These findings reinforce the need for a correctional programming targeting the diverse circumstances and motivations of women who are violent against their partners.
This study sought to address underserved victims of sexual violence by examining reports of sexual violence, substance use, and help-seeking events among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) and heterosexual college students. There were 2,790 students (2,482 heterosexual students and 308 LGBQ students) across 4 years who completed an online, anonymous survey measuring self-reports of sexual violence, substance use, and help-seeking. Chi-square analyses and Fisher’s exact tests were conducted to determine differences in reports of sexual violence between LGBQ and heterosexual participants. Events reported by LGBQ students were significantly more likely to involve threatened sexual intercourse and sexual contact while intoxicated as compared to events reported by heterosexual students. Similar low rates of help-seeking following a sexual violence event were found among LGBQ and heterosexual victims, with most victims citing that the event was not serious enough to warrant help. LGBQ victims were significantly more likely to report that they did not seek help because they thought they would be blamed. Both LGBQ and heterosexual college students would benefit from education on issues of sexual violence, particularly the relationship between substance use and consent.
This case study examines the individual treatment of a 35-year-old Latino man of Mexican descent, living in Southern California at the time of his therapy. The primary treatment goal for this client was the eradication of violent and abusive behavior to his wife of 13 years, from whom he was divorced in the course of our work together, and to improve his self-knowledge and relationship skills for future intimate relationships. A secondary goal was to help him guide his children through the pain of the divorce and to establish a closer relationship with them. Using the treatment model Sin Golpes (Welland & Wexler, 2007), based on self-psychology and cognitive behavioral theories, our work focused on psychoeducation regarding partner abuse and human rights; self-management strategies; awareness of the connection between negative cognitions, anger, and abuse; exploration and transformation of gender roles, parenting skills, relationship skills, and the integration of spiritual teachings; and prevention of future violence. The client made significant progress and has not relapsed into partner violence in the past 5 years.
- Go to article: Perceptions of Domestic Violence in Heterosexual Relationships: Impact of Victim Gender and History of Response
Perceptions of Domestic Violence in Heterosexual Relationships: Impact of Victim Gender and History of Response
Within the context of a heterosexual relationship, participants (n = 197) read a police interview involving a claim of domestic violence that varied the gender of the victim. Within gender conditions, the victim’s previous history of response to the violence, and on the evening in question, was portrayed as either passive or active (i.e., fought back). Results support the notion of a prototypical domestic violence victim that has emerged within a gendered framework. Overall, the female victim was perceived in a more sympathetic light than the male victim was. Interaction effects showed that men, but not women, rated the male victim as more responsible for the assault than the female victim. Participant gender effects indicated that women rated the victim and their claim of victimization more favorably than men did. Implications within the courtroom are discussed.
- Go to article: State Teen Dating Violence School Legislation in The United States: A Content Analysis
Teen dating violence (TDV) is a pervasive issue that can have a variety of negative effects on those who have been victimized. Prior research shows that state-level laws have an impact on the extent of TDV; however, scant research has analyzed the variations in the language used in the legislation. The present study analyzes the existing state legislation for addressing TDV in schools and compares the content of the legislation. This study provides a detailed analysis of each of the states’ legislation. It examines differences in how states conceptualize TDV and provides details demonstrating the variations of state legislation. We utilized qualitative descriptive content analysis and purposive sampling with maximum variation. A total of 27 states have legislation to address TDV in schools. Findings demonstrate that states have great variation in legislation addressing TDV in schools. Some states appear to take a minimalistic approach in specifying legislation on how schools should address TDV, other states provide their schools with general guidelines to address TDV, and a few states provide very specific guidelines for schools to follow. This study is an important step to understanding what components of state TDV legislation in schools are most universal and might impact the prevalence of TDV. Future research is needed to identify the components of state TDV legislation that are related to impacting TDV prevalence.
- Go to article: The Outcomes and Process Improvement Project: Batterers’ Intervention Program Evaluation Comparing English-Language and Spanish-Language Offenders
The Outcomes and Process Improvement Project: Batterers’ Intervention Program Evaluation Comparing English-Language and Spanish-Language Offenders
This study was a longitudinal, naturalistic comparison of treatment completion and reoffense rates for two groups of offenders convicted of domestic violence (DV): Seventy-five men attending Spanish-language classes and 75 men attending English-language classes. Participant-specific background and psychosocial information, as well as alcohol and drug use, were assessed for influencing program success and DV reoffense. Overall, men who completed DV classes were less likely to reoffend than those who did not. Men in the Spanish-language group had better outcomes than men in the English-language group. In addition, substance use, timing of probation violations, employment, court re-referrals to DV classes, and previous DV convictions all had an impact on rate of class completion and/or reoffense. Psychosocial variables did not appear to influence outcomes.
- Go to article: The Relationship Between Paternal Characteristics and Child Psychosocial Functioning in a Sample of Men Arrested for Domestic Violence
The Relationship Between Paternal Characteristics and Child Psychosocial Functioning in a Sample of Men Arrested for Domestic Violence
It is estimated that upward of 15.5 million children live in homes where they are exposed to physical and psychological intimate partner violence (IPV). Research indicates that IPV can have deleterious effects on children, including a variety of psychosocial problems, although there is much variability in outcomes of children exposed to IPV. Individual characteristics of the parents involved in IPV may be an important predictor of negative psychosocial outcomes for children. The current study expanded upon prior research and examined the simultaneous associations of paternal characteristics, including paternal IPV perpetration, and child psychosocial functioning (i.e., externalizing, internalizing, and attentional problems) among 153 men arrested for domestic violence and court ordered to attend batterer intervention programs. Analyses examined the relations between paternal alcohol and drug use, antisocial personality traits, hostility, posttraumatic stress symptoms, distress tolerance, IPV perpetration, and men's ratings of their child's psychosocial functioning. Results indicated that poor overall child psychosocial functioning was positively related to paternal antisocial personality symptoms and hostility. Subscale analyses revealed that child attentional problems were positively related to paternal hostility. Child externalizing problems were positively associated with paternal antisocial personality symptoms. The implications of these findings for future research and intervention are discussed.
- Go to article: The Combined and Independent Impact of Witnessed Intimate Partner Violence and Child Maltreatment
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a pervasive issue, generating startling facts regarding its detrimental societal effects. There is also considerable overlap between witnessing IPV and experiencing childhood maltreatment. The current article reviews the state of the knowledge about the short- and long-term impact of witnessing IPV as well as a review of the literature exploring the unique impact of experiencing both IPV and maltreatment compared to witnessing only. Seventy-three articles were included in the present review. Negative outcomes in youth have been reported in both the internalizing and externalizing domains of functioning, in health and cognitive domains, as well as in youth’s relationships with family, peers, and romantic partners. The current literature suggests that these negative impacts persist into adulthood. Mixed results, whether there are significant additive effects of witnessing IPV and child maltreatment compared to witnessing IPV only, were found in youth and again into adulthood. Policy implications and recommendations for future research are suggested.
There is a growing impetus within the field of aggression research to further elucidate the risk factors, predictors, and correlates of dating violence (DV), particularly among dating couples. Of particular importance is understanding the proximal motivations, or reasons, for DV and whether these motivations differ for men and women. Research examining the motivations for DV has focused almost entirely on physical violence, and findings regarding gender differences in DV motivations have been mixed (Langhinrichsen-Rohling, McCullars, & Misra, 2012). To our knowledge, limited research has examined the motivations for psychological aggression among dating college students, and no research has directly compared men and women’s motivations for psychological aggression. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the motivations for psychological aggression among dating college students (N = 216), and whether these motivations differed by gender. Results demonstrated that expression of negative emotions, jealousy, and communication difficulties were the most frequently endorsed motive categories for both men and women. Men and women did not differ on any motive category. Despite the preliminary nature of this study, several research and clinical implications are addressed.
- Go to article: Therapists' Experiences of Working With Iranian-Immigrant Intimate Partner Violence Clients in the United States
Therapists' Experiences of Working With Iranian-Immigrant Intimate Partner Violence Clients in the United States
Mental health practitioners have a responsibility to provide effective interventions to all their clients, accounting for each client's cultural context and values relevant to their well-being. In this study, eight therapists who have worked with Iranian-immigrant intimate partner violence (IPV) clients were interviewed to answer two questions: (a) What have therapists who work in the United States learned about challenges of working with Iranian IPV clients living in the United States? and (b) What suggestions do these thera-pists have for improving services to Iranian IPV clients living in the United States? In response to this question, six main themes were found: (a) Clients' lack of knowledge, (b) cultural acceptance that men are not accountable for their behaviors/gender norms in patriarchal culture, (c) women's sense of disempowerment (victim's role), (d) clients do not disclose IPV due to a sense of obligation, (e) clients' fear of consequences of disclosing, and (f) clients' difficulty trusting therapists and the mental health field. In response to the second question, that is, what suggestions do these therapists have for improving the services to Iranian IPV clients living in the United States? three main themes emerged: (a) clients need for knowledge and psychoeducation, (b) the services for Iranian-immigrant clients are not culturally appropriate, (c) therapists need to have a broad perspective of clients. Results add to the understanding of IPV grounded in the Iranian immigrant culture and ultimately contribute to a culturally based conceptualization of IPV among Iranian immigrants to sensitize therapists regarding culturally appropriate interventions that reflect the concerns of the Iranian living in the United States.
- Go to article: Familial and Individual Risk Markers for Physical and Psychological Dating Violence Perpetration and Victimization Among College Students
Familial and Individual Risk Markers for Physical and Psychological Dating Violence Perpetration and Victimization Among College Students
Dating violence (DV) is a prominent problem among college students that can result in harmful physical and mental health outcomes. Though much research has focused on physical DV, fewer studies have examined psychological DV. As such, the current paper compared early/familial risk markers (e.g., child physical abuse, witnessing parental violence, and maternal relationship quality) and individual risk markers (e.g., alcohol use, marijuana and prescription drug use) for physical and psychological DV among college students. Data were gathered at two large public universities using pencil and paper surveys (N = 1,482). Bivariate results revealed more risk markers for men (e.g., more child physical abuse, more frequent drinking, more close friends who drink and more marijuana and prescription drug use) compared to women. Multivariate results showed that familial risk markers were generally most important for explaining physical DV victimization and perpetration whereas individual risk markers were more salient for explaining psychological DV victimization and perpetration. Findings highlight the contribution of both early/familial and individual risk markers for understanding psychological and physical DV victimization and perpetration among college students.
- Go to article: A Comparison of Domestic Violence Recidivism Rates of Defendant-Initiated Diversion and Court-Mandated Treatment
A Comparison of Domestic Violence Recidivism Rates of Defendant-Initiated Diversion and Court-Mandated Treatment
This study examines court records of 244 defendants assigned to court-connected treatment to determine whether “defendant-initiated diversion” offenders recidivated less than defendants who were mandated by the court to undergo treatment. The study population consisted of 140 defendants who voluntarily opted to participate in a domestic violence (DV) court diversion program and 104 convicted offenders who were ordered by the court to complete treatment as part of their sentence of probation. Defendants who had prior felony or DV convictions were not accepted into the diversion program. A logit model analysis revealed a statistically significant negative relationship between diversion completion and DV recidivism during the 24 months after treatment completion or case closure. These results illustrate the importance of including defendant-initiated diversion for low risk offenders as part of a court system strategy to address DV.
- Go to article: Client Experiences of the Strength at Home Intimate Partner Violence Program: A Qualitative Analysis
Client Experiences of the Strength at Home Intimate Partner Violence Program: A Qualitative Analysis
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a prevalent issue among veteran populations. Strength at Home (SAH) is a 12-week cognitive behavioral and trauma-informed group intervention shown to reduce IPV among veterans via a randomized controlled trial and several implementation and pilot studies. The program is currently being implemented nationally in the Department of Veterans Affairs, with initial data showing that clients evidence significant reductions in physical and psychological IPV, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and alcohol misuse. The present study explored the subjective experience of veterans who participated in SAH during this rollout. Following their final group session, participants completed a treatment satisfaction survey. A qualitative thematic analysis of 291 surveys was conducted to evaluate (a) if SAH led participants to pursue other intervention; (b) what participants perceived as most beneficial about the program; (c) what participants perceived as least beneficial about the program; and (d) the ways in which SAH impacted their lives. These evaluations shed light on which aspects of the program may be most and least impactful, which may be utilized to modify and enhance the SAH program to best address the needs of individuals using and experiencing IPV.
- Go to article: Learning in the Real World: Coeducational Groups in Response to Intimate Partner Violence
Among a number of recommendations and standards related to interventions for perpetrators of intimate partner violence is a clear implication that male and female offenders should receive gender specific services. Such segregation often assumes a potential danger to or exacerbation of victimization for the women or else identifies such distinct etiologies for violent behaviors that the treatment needs must be equally disparate. Described herein is a program that provides services for men and women in the same setting. Supporting this intervention is the belief that a significant number of those referred experience similar motivation for their thoughts, feelings, and actions and that therapeutic response will be correspondingly similar. Further, because people live, work, and play in mixed settings, it is more realistic and, it is hoped, more therapeutic to consider—and practice—changes in mixed settings as well. Pertinent factors in conducting these groups are presented, as are one presenter’s perspective on advantages and disadvantages of such a structure. Finally, considerations for research are offered.
Interventions for men who perpetrate intimate partner violence (IPV) have historically been relatively ineffective at reducing or stopping subsequent IPV. However, there are several strong theoretical reasons that suggest Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), an intervention that emphasizes the use of mindfulness and aims to foster psychological flexibility, may be particularly well-suited to interrupting the factors that maintain IPV. The goal of the present article is to review the evidence for the application of ACT to target IPV. In addition, empirical studies that have, to date, shown promising initial support for a targeted intervention (Achieving Change Through Values-Based Behavior; ACTV) are reviewed. The implications for using ACT-based skills with perpetrators of IPV are discussed, along with potential future directions and further applications of ACT to hard-to-treat populations.
- Go to article: Intimate Partner Violence Experienced by Women and Men: A Data-Driven Typology in a Finnish Sample
Previous research suggests that intimate partner violence (IPV) is a complex phenomenon that may be better understood through typological explanations. Notably, different IPV subtypes are likely to be differently related to the causes and consequences of violence. However, most typologies focus exclusively on male-perpetrated IPV and are based on highly selective samples. The aim of the current study was to define an empirically derived IPV typology that is gender-inclusive and allows for the identification of both gender symmetric and asymmetric IPV subtypes. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used as an objective method to identify the subtypes in a sample of victims of physical or sexual IPV (N = 856) from the Finnish National Crime Victim Survey (FNCVS). Five variables were used as the basis of the classification: gender of the victim, control-seeking by the perpetrator, the generality of the perpetrator's violent behavior, substance use by the perpetrator, and the bidirectionality of the violence in the relationship. The results reveal three IPV classes: IPV-only perpetrator (IOP), substance-related violence (SRV), and generally violent and controlling perpetrator (GVC). In the IOP class, the gender distribution of the victims was equal, whereas the two other classes were experienced predominately by women. Moreover, the classes were differentially associated with injuries and police reporting. While the current study replicates some previous findings, the finding of SRV as a separate IPV subtype is novel. Overall, the current study provides support for the general idea of several types of IPV, which should be acknowledged both in future research and intervention policies.
Psychological abuse between intimate partners is common and is an important area of inquiry. The present study sought to develop and validate the Cyber Psychological Abuse (CPA) scale to assess psychological abuse during arguments between romantic partners using cell phones, e-mail, computers, and through social networking sites. A sample of 271 undergraduate students who were currently in romantic relationships completed a series of measures in an online survey. Results indicated a 2-factor structure of the CPA scale (minor and severe cyber abuse). Cyber psychological abuse was very common with 93% of college students perpetrating and being victimized by minor cyber abuse (e.g., swearing, insulting, or “shouting” with capital letters) during arguments in their current romantic relationships. Severe cyber psychological abuse (e.g., threats or public humiliation) was less common with 12%–13% of college students reporting such abuse. No gender differences were found for minor cyber abuse, but males were more likely to report being victimized by severe cyber abuse than females. The CPA’s victimization and perpetration scales showed an expected pattern of associations with previously validated abuse and aggression measures as well as with perceived stress levels. Minor cyber abuse on the CPA scale predicted levels of perceived stress over and above physical abuse. The results of the current study provide a preliminary demonstration of the validity of the CPA scale, which appears to be an internally consistent and valid measure for capturing psychological partner abuse as it occurs in an electronic context.
- Go to article: The Effects of Gender-Role Traditionality and Gender of Abuser on Attitudes Toward Intimate Partner Violence and Perceived Body Size of the Victim and Abuser
The Effects of Gender-Role Traditionality and Gender of Abuser on Attitudes Toward Intimate Partner Violence and Perceived Body Size of the Victim and Abuser
The current study examined college students’ perceptions of male victims compared to female victims in a female abuser–male victim scenario and a male abuser–female victim scenario. Victim blaming, minimization of the seriousness of the abuse, and body size perceptions and how gender-role traditionality (GRT) affects these perceptions were investigated. Male victims were blamed as the victim more and their abuse was minimized more compared to female victims. These differences were moderated by GRT. Only the female victim and abuser varied in body size perceptions, and these perceptions were also moderated by GRT. Males blamed the victim and minimized the seriousness of the abuse more than did females. Implications for intervention programs and new directions in IPV research are discussed.
Previous research has identified men’s level of anger as one of the predictors of intimate partner violence (IPV). However, few studies have tried to empirically explore the underlying factors influencing anger in men who perpetrate IPV. Objective: The purpose of this study is to identify the contribution of attachment style to the level of anger experienced by men perpetrators of IPV. Method: Eighty men enrolled in IPV therapy completed self-report questionnaires of attachment and anger. Result: Multiple regressions revealed that avoidant and anxious attachment styles had a significant influence in explaining anger in violent men. Conclusion: These findings indicate the importance of considering attachment style in the understanding and treatment of anger in IPV perpetrators.
In the United Kingdom, “domestic violence” services are predominantly segregated and therapeutic interventions offered mainly to either female “survivors/victims” or male “perpetrators.” Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 20 U.K. practitioners with the aim of deconstructing their understandings and approach to therapeutic practice using a thematic analysis. Their practices were found to be mainly informed by the gender paradigm, reflecting assumptions that men’s abusive behavior was instrumental and chosen, whereas women behaved aggressively primarily in retaliation or defense. When negotiating sensitive, potentially dilemmatic issues, such as women revealing abusive behavior or men speaking about victimization, participants differed in the extent to which they experienced, or showed awareness of, cognitive dissonance. Those participants who took a gender perspective tended to scapegoat male “perpetrators” and excuse the behavior of female “victims,” whereas those who took a gender-inclusive approach were more likely to speak about the motivation of both partners and other contributory factors maintaining the problem. The findings support the view that domestic violence services in the United Kingdom have been slow to respond to calls by researchers to bring more psychological theory and relational awareness to understandings of intimate partner violence (IPV) and its practices.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) silently pervades Bhutanese women's lives and is closely linked to the country's unique collectivist societal structure. There is a dearth of empirical research identifying and addressing barriers to help-seeking for women who experience IPV in Bhutan. This study sought to gain an in-depth understanding of the factors that influence and prevent Bhutanese women in IPV relationships from seeking help. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 Bhutanese women experiencing IPV and accessing counseling at Respect, Educate, Nurture, and Empower Women (RENEW). RENEW is a nonprofit organization that provides support services to women affected by IPV. Qualitative data analysis revealed five themes that represent barriers to seeking help for IPV experienced by Bhutanese women. These themes are (1) Perceived stigma: I don't want to bring a bad name … what will they think of me?', (2) Children's well-being: I need to think of my child's school, food, clothes, (3) Limited understanding of IPV: He did not cause any physical harm …. there was no beating, (4) Limited knowledge of support sources: ‘I was not sure whether they would entertain my issue or not, and (5) Lack of support: They didn't do anything to stop him. This study reveals novel insights about the importance of IPV knowledge among Bhutanese women and supportive responses from different sources such as informal and formal networks to facilitate women's help-seeking behaviors. It provides evidence for relevant stakeholders and service sectors to develop programs and policies appropriate and responsive to the needs of Bhutanese women experiencing IPV.
Although psychological aggression has been identified as a risk factor for physical aggression, the prevalence of psychological aggression is much higher than that of physical aggression. To further understand the relationship between psychological and physical aggression, the level of psychological aggression at which physical aggression becomes more likely was evaluated. A representative sample of 268 men and 299 women responded anonymously to a self-report measure of aggression (revised Conflict Tactics Scale [CTS-2]) at baseline, and then 1 year later. Using both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, this study evaluated the level of psychological aggression that is necessary before it is likely that one will be physically aggressive. When one was at the 80th percentile of psychological aggression, there was a 70% probability that a man would be physically aggressive and 85% probability that a woman would be physically aggressive. Longitudinally, when one was at the 80th percentile of psychological aggression at Time 1, there was a 40% probability that a man would be physically aggressive and 45% probability that a woman would be physically aggressive at Time 2. CTS-2 psychological decile scores are provided along with the probability of physical aggression to assist clinicians in interpreting client scores. Implications for research and couples therapy are discussed.
Of the probable psychological or neuropsychological vulnerabilities or risks in domestic violence perpetration, deficits in executive function may be one of the least explored. This integrative review contains overviews of domestic violence theory, the literature on psychological and neuropsychological risk for violence, the literature on executive function, and the literature on coping. The neuropsychology and neuroanatomy of violence typically involves deficits in the frontal lobes and their role in cognition and impulse control and/or excessive activation of the limbic structures with their role of mediating primary emotions and drive-related behavior. Domestic violence perpetration can be understood as maladaptive and destructive coping, symptomatic of disorders of impulsivity, neuropsychological impairment, and emotional dysfunction activated within the context of intimacy or primary relationships, often (if not usually) exacerbated by substance abuse or dependency. Conceptualizing domestic violence perpetration as maladaptive coping, impaired by executive deficits, psychopathology, often worsened by substance abuse, opens up a wide range of alternative intervention strategies. Instead of assuming (often incorrectly) that a perpetrator’s intentions are only patriarchal domination, careful assessment of neuropsychological vulnerability and coping abilities can lead to both a more accurate picture of risk as well as guided change strategies. Assessment of executive function can provide a framework for understanding and improving both the cognitive capabilities of perpetrators to form and use adaptive strategies as well as their abilities to manage or inhibit affective arousal to violence.
- Go to article: Involvement in Intimate Partner Psychological Abuse and Suicide Proneness in College Women: Alcohol Related Problems as a Potential Mediator
Involvement in Intimate Partner Psychological Abuse and Suicide Proneness in College Women: Alcohol Related Problems as a Potential Mediator
This study examined the relations among involvement in intimate partner psychological abuse, alcohol-related problems, and suicide proneness as measured by the Life Attitudes Schedule—Short Form (LAS-SF) in college women (N = 709). Results revealed that, as expected, being involved in a psychologically abusive relationship was significantly and positively correlated with alcohol-related problems and alcohol-related problems were significantly and positively correlated with suicide proneness. Additionally, the intimate partner psychological abuse involvement-suicide proneness link was significantly mediated by alcohol-related problems. Implications are offered for the improved identification and treatment of young women at risk for suicidal and health-diminishing behaviors.
- Go to article: The Association Between Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration, Victimization, and Mental Health Among Women Arrested for Domestic Violence
The Association Between Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration, Victimization, and Mental Health Among Women Arrested for Domestic Violence
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major problem. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of research on the associations between IPV perpetration, victimization, and mental health among women. This study examined these associations among a sample of women arrested for domestic violence and court-referred to batterer intervention programs (BIPs; N = 88). Using self-report screening instruments for Axis I and Axis II mental health problems, results showed very high rates of mental health problems among women. In addition, both IPV perpetration and victimization were associated with increased mental health symptoms. Women who met diagnostic cutoff scores reported greater IPV perpetration/victimization than women who did not meet those cutoff scores. Implications of these findings for future research and IPV interventions are discussed.