An evaluation of the differential reporting, treatment completion and personality traits in male batterers

Naraine, Sonia Latchmei, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia

The present investigation used a sample of 60 male batterers and their female partners. Men were undergoing court mandated treatment for partner assault. The extent and nature of physical aggression in these relationships was assessed using male and female reports of verbal and physical abuse. It was found that men and women are better able to agree on the frequency of verbally and physically aggressive behaviors that women commit. When examining verbally and physically aggressive behaviors that men commit, women will report significantly higher abusive acts than men self-report. In addition to the violent aspect of these relationships, levels of intimacy were also examined. Specifically, levels of love, ambivalence and conflict/negativity were evaluated using male and female accounts. Men and women differed in their feelings of ambivalence, with women experiencing more of these feelings than men. The level of differential reporting for a couple's conflict tactics and level of intimacy were hypothesized to be related to treatment dropout in males. Only findings on differences in intimacy were found to be predictive of treatment dropout. Using the MMPI, personality traits of male batterers were also examined in order to gain a more complete understanding of these individuals. Male batterers were found to cluster into two personality profiles. The first group were within normal limits on all clinical scales of the MMPI however, validity scales indicated they were attempting to present themselves in the most favorable light. The second group of men had profiles which suggested severe disturbance including inappropriate expression of anger, long criminal histories and difficulties with close emotional relationships. These personality profiles were not related to differential reporting of aggressive behaviors by men and women as was hypothesized.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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