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NCJ Number: 218673 Find in a Library
Title: Empathic Deficits Among Male Batterers: A Multidimensional Approach
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:22  Issue:3  Dated:April 2007  Pages:165-174
Author(s): Christmas N. Covell; Matthew T. Huss; Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling
Date Published: April 2007
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: 5T32MH16156;R03
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored male batterers and the associations among multiple dimensions of empathy and the frequency of perpetrating different types of domestic violence (emotional or psychological abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse).
Abstract: Findings indicate different dimensions of empathy, both singularly and in combination, are related to expressions of different types of intimate partner violence. In particular, batterers reporting lower levels of perspective taking abilities reported higher frequencies of perpetrating psychological aggression and total violence. In contrast, higher reported levels of experiencing personal distress were also significantly related to total violence perpetration scores and physical assault perpetration scores. The findings suggest that these components of empathy might be particularly important to include in theoretical discussions of batterer subtypes and in treatment interventions. Additional findings indicate that multiplicative patterns of empathic ability correspond to different types of violence. There has been increasing interest in understanding the role of empathy deficits in the etiology and treatment of violence. Despite this interest and considerable emphasis on the importance of empathy in the assessment and treatment of aggressive behavior in general, little research has directly assessed the role of empathy in the aggressive behavior of domestic violence perpetrators. This study examined a multimodal construct of empathy as proposed in 1980 and its relationship to frequency of various types of intimate partner violence in a sample of 104 domestically violent male perpetrators. Tables, figures, references
Main Term(s): Offender profiles
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Male offenders; Offender attitudes
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