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NCJ Number: 149335 Find in a Library
Title: Powerlessness and the Need to Control: The Male Abuser's Dilemma
Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence  Volume:9  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1994)  Pages:278-285
Author(s): N D Petrik; R E P Olson; L S Subotnik
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 8
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Male abusers attending a 6-month outpatient domestic abuse treatment program in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and their female partners completed measures of powerlessness and tolerance for being controlled, both before and after treatment.
Abstract: Twenty-six males completed the treatment program, and 18 had female partners who completed before and after treatment measures. The treatment program consisted of 24 weekly sessions lasting 2.5 hours each; the average treatment group included eight persons. Males were required to describe their abusive behavior and identify alternative behavior. Before treatment, both men and women felt powerless. Men had a very low tolerance for being controlled, while women tolerated moderate amounts of control. Men and women accurately perceived that tolerance of their partners for being controlled. Women perceived men to be more powerful than men perceived themselves. Treatment did not decrease the powerlessness of abusers or increase their tolerance for being controlled. The most noteworthy indication of a change due to treatment was a somewhat greater similarity between male and female perceptions of male powerlessness after treatment. The authors speculate that group treatment emphasizing shame reduction may help men acknowledge their powerlessness more openly and help them move toward decreasing control of their partners. 10 references
Main Term(s): Female victims
Index Term(s): Crime prevention measures; Domestic assault prevention; Male offenders; Minnesota; Psychological research; Social control; Victims of violent crime; Violence prevention
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