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- Go to article: Abused and Rejected: The Link Between Intimate Partner Violence and Parental Alienation
Previous studies have demonstrated a connection between intimate partner violence (IPV) and a child’s alienation from the abused parent, but little is known about the relationships between the type of IPV, aspects, and severity of a child’s alienation, and the target parent’s gender. This study assessed the presence of an IPV history (verbal and physical aspects) among parents who identify as targets of their children’s unreasonable rejection. Also investigated were associations between the form of IPV and manifestations of a child’s alienated behavior, parent’s gender and type of IPV, and parents’ gender and degree of the child’s alienation. Self-identified alienated parents (n = 842) completed an online survey that included an IPV screening measurement (Hurts, Insults, Screams, Threatens screening tool) and a measure of the parent’s perception of their child’s alienated behaviors (Rowlands Parental Alienation Scale). The majority identified as IPV victims and reported a higher level of verbal than physical abuse. More mothers than fathers identified themselves as IPV victims. As a group, IPV victims rated their child as more severely alienated than did non-IPV alienated parents. Mothers were more likely than fathers to report physical aggression by the other parent and more likely than fathers to assess their child’s alienated behaviors as more severe. Victims of physical violence reported their children were less likely to withhold positive affection from them. This knowledge may assist in earlier identification of the alienation process and greater recognition, legitimacy, funding, and opportunities for enhanced collaboration among stakeholders. This, in turn, may lead to improvements in prevention, intervention, and accountability, thus helping to interrupt alienation processes.
This study adds to the available literature on female-perpetrated intimate abuse by examining Dutton’s (2007) theory of the abusive personality (AP) in a sample of 914 women who had been involved in dating relationships. Consistent with the AP, recalled parental rejection, borderline personality organization (BPO), anger, and trauma symptoms all demonstrated moderate-to-strong relationships with women’s self-reported intimate psychological abuse perpetration. Fearful attachment style demonstrated a weak-to-moderate relationship with psychological abuse perpetration. A potential model for explaining the interrelationships between the elements of the AP was tested using structural equation modeling (SEM). Consistent with the proposed model, recalled parental rejection demonstrated relationships with BPO, trauma symptoms, and fearful attachment. Similarly consistent with the model, trauma symptoms demonstrated a relationship with anger; and BPO demonstrated strong relationships with trauma symptoms, fearful attachment, and anger. Additionally, anger itself had a strong relationship with women’s self-reported perpetration of intimate psychological and physical abuse. Contrary to the proposed model, fearful attachment had a nonsignificant relationship with anger when this relationship was examined using SEM.
The study of men’s violence against their intimate partners is segregated from the study of other forms of violence. Comparing intimate partner violence (IPV) to other violence, however, allows one to examine whether the motivation and the legal response are similar. I examine whether men’s assaults on partners are particularly likely to have a control motive, whether women’s assaults on partners are particularly likely to be motivated by self-defense, and whether intimate partner violence is less likely to be reported to the police and legally sanctioned. The evidence casts doubt on the feminist approach, which has dominated the study of IPV. I suggest that a theory of instrumental violence provides a better understanding of IPV. Such an approach recognizes a variety of motives and emphasizes the role of conflict in intimate relationships, sex differences in strength and violence, and the importance of chivalry. Finally, I suggest that social scientists who study IPV should be more careful in their descriptive terminology.
Partner aggression is a major public health concern. Batterers’ intervention programs (BIPs) are commonly used as an alternative to incarceration for offenders who have been arrested for domestic assault. Historically, BIPs have shown little effectiveness in reducing partner aggression. This article presents a new BIP based on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT; Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999). ACT is a third-wave therapy that builds on the cognitive-behavioral tradition, focusing on increasing psychological flexibility by promoting acceptance and mindfulness processes. Several lines of evidence support the use of ACT in the treatment of partner aggression. Achieving Change Through Values-Based Behavior (ACTV; Lawrence, Langer Zarling, & Orengo-Aguayo, 2014) was developed based on ACT principles with a specific focus on feasibility and transferability to the community correctional setting and court-adjudicated treatment. ACTV incorporates experiential skills training and uses innovative methods to engage participants and teach the ACT processes. This article details the components of ACTV, including a case study to illustrate one participant’s journey through the program. We also present preliminary pilot data, which look promising with respect to reductions in domestic assault and violent recidivism.
It is paramount for professionals working with bereaved children to provide activities and opportunities for a child to explore his or her grief experience. Activities can provide insight to the professional about the child, their family prior to the death, and how the death has impacted the child’s environment. This chapter describes some things to keep in mind when planning activities for children and provides samples of activities that can be used with children in a support or counseling setting. Activities, by their very nature, facilitate meaning making because they allow the person to be creative, interact with others, or engage in ritual. The chapter presents a few samples of activities used over the years with children for the purpose of meaning making, continuing bonds, problem solving, and perspective building. Activities can also provide structure to the support setting.
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.
Although mental health professionals embrace broad assessment protocols, which attempt to incorporate biopsychosocial, and, more recently, the cultural and spiritual identities of the individual, attention is rarely given to the individual's unique internal and external sources of strength and support. The limitations of traditional medical model diagnosis, particularly in the form of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classification system, have been noted by many researchers and practitioners. At the same time, research has focused on predictive factors in treatment outcome, both in terms of client characteristics and in the utility of evidence-based treatment protocols applied to specific mental disorders. The cumulative themes in contemporary discussions of diagnostic systems and effective treatments, logically related to diagnosis, suggest the need for an additional core component of the diagnostic system, for which the authors advocate the Intersectionality/Resiliency Formulation.
This chapter explains a set of guidelines to help mental health professionals and clients move away from the gender stereotypes that perpetuate inequality and illness. Identifying dominance requires conscious awareness and understanding of how gender mediates between mental health and relationship issues. An understanding of what limits equality is significantly increased when we examine how gendered power plays out in a particular relationship and consider how it intersects with other social positions such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. To contextualize emotion, the therapist draws on knowledge of societal and cultural patterns, such as gendered power structures and ideals for masculinity and femininity that touch all people’s lives in a particular society. Therapists who seek to support women and men equally take an active position that allows the non-neutral aspects of gendered lives to become visible.
Substance users have substantially reduced rates of use of preventive health care services, and reduced rates of compliance with prescribed medical treatment. Primary care providers are frequently overwhelmed and may be reluctant to address substance-related problems given few resources. Direct collaboration with a behavioral health specialist (BHS) co-located within the primary care clinic results in increased efficiency and better treatment outcomes. There are excellent resources available for the BHS who will provide tobacco abuse interventions in the primary care setting. A number of behavioral factors should be considered in effectively addressing substance use and abuse in the primary care setting. Primary care providers should also be alert to unexplained vague symptoms, somatic complaints, difficulty with sleep, anxiousness, frequent life disruptions or chaotic lifestyle, and a family history of mental health problems or substance abuse.