Graduation Year

2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

James Epps

Keywords

abuse, intervention, battering, violent, cognitions

Abstract

This study investigated the differences in how domestically violent men processed social information before, during, and after the completion of treatment received from a Batterers Intervention Program in Florida. Men receiving mandatory treatment for domestic violence as the result of a court order were exposed to a series of hypothetical scenarios involving their intimate partners and women with whom they were not intimately acquainted. The scenarios were sculpted to create negative feelings in the men,and cognitive processing patterns were investigated by testing their recall of social cues, their perception of intentionality and hostility, response consideration, response decisions, enactment ability, and response evaluation. Data was collected from participants prior to their first treatment session, after 14 weeks, and upon completion of treatment after 26 weeks.

The cognitive processing patterns of domestically violent men from a control group not receiving treatment were tested at the same points in time. Results of the study suggest that receiving treatment for domestic violence does have an effect on the cognitive processing patterns of domestically violent men. Namely, after receiving treatment, there is a greater consideration of more socially appropriate forms of behavioral responses, and less emotional comfort with intimate partner aggresssion. Implications of this study on research and treatment are discussed, and suggestions for improvement are made.

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