RE: Request for data to inform a meta-analytic review assessing the magnitude of the relationship between motivation and physical intimate partner violence
Dr. Matt Hammond, Fiona Dempsey, and I are conducting a meta-analysis to examine the magnitude of the relationship between self-reported physical aggression in intimate partner relationships and the motivation for this aggression. We would like to elaborate on previous reviews in this area to go beyond understanding the range of motivations associated with intimate partner violence and gain insight into the effect sizes of different motives. For example, control is theorised as being central to understanding intimate partner violence. This review will enable us to determine the magnitude of the relationship between self reported control and physical intimate partner violence compared to non-controlling motives. It is anticipated that the findings will inform the debate regarding gender differences in motivations.
We have identified a number of published studies in this area and are now seeking unpublished work from researchers in the field. We would greatly appreciate it if you could share with us any unpublished data you may have or in press/in progress research findings so that we can include your data/findings in our analysis and cite your work.
Studies which meet the following criteria will be of relevance:
Where participants are male and/ or female.
Where participants are 18+ years.
Data includes a measure of self-reported perpetration of physical assault and motivation(s) associated with use of physical aggression..
Where motivation is defined as any preceding act (e.g., physical, psychological, sexual harm) or psychological or physiological state (e.g., anger, jealousy, fear) that influences a person’s use of aggression toward their intimate partner. Motives are not personality characteristics, or risk factors for IPV (e.g., attachment styles, attitudes towards violence).
Where possible we would like to request the following data from you:
A continuous or ordinal measure of self reported physical aggression
A measure of at least one motivation for physical aggression
Demographic data for the sample (e.g., ethnicity, mean age, sex/gender identity of the participants)
Some information on the methodology used to collate the data set
Where raw data is not feasible we would like to request:
Correlations between motivations for IPV and self-reported physical assault (split by gender, if relevant)
The research team are all based at the School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and I include our web addresses below so you can take a look at our recent profiles.
This work will form the basis of a study in Fiona’s PhD and be submitted for peer review to a relevant academic journal. If you are able to share any relevant work or have any further questions about this, we would be very grateful.
I am very pleased to announce that my contacts at Springer, publisher of the scholarly journal, Partner Abuse, have agreed to let ADVIP members download copies of one complimentary article each quarter. If you go to our website, and click on the MEMBER BENEFITS section, look for the link to the journal discounts and free articles. You will need to put in your ADVIP password, which is: evidence12. I have gone ahead and back-dated several articles, so there are actually 4 articles available to you (see below). One new article will be available each quarter the next one in January, 2019. And don’t forget about the great new podcast series, also available for free through the MEMBER BENEFITS area. The latest podcast with Sandra Stith on couples counseling, is fantastic!
Quarterly Selections from the Peer-Reviewed Journal, Partner Abuse
Vol. 9, Number 4: A phenomenological inquiry into men’s desistance from intimate partner
Vol. 9, No. 3: Patterns in controlling coercive behaviors among men mandated for batterer treatment.
Vol. 9, No. 2: Attachment security priming and domestic violence: Augmenting biopsychological treatment of perpetrators.
Vol. 9, No. 1: Intimate partner perpetration: Moving toward a comprehensive conceptual framework.
I received an email requesting assistance from a researcher in Australia. I offered to post her request in hopes there are others who can provide input into program development.
“I’m currently seeking treatment providers views about the treatment needs of women who use force in intimate relationships and what constitutes best practice in this area to help inform the development of an evidence based treatment program for such women fit for the Australian context, where no programs currently exist. I would be extremely grateful if you would complete my survey. It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and can be found at: http://surveys.utas.edu.au/index.php/513266?lang=en
In response to research finding batterer intervention programs to be limited overall in their ability to reduce rates of recidivism, stakeholders in the field of domestic violence have been calling for more evidence-based treatment models. Meanwhile, because of the limitations of state standards, lack of information and other factors, providers are often polarized and confused. The recent literature review by Julia Babcock and colleagues on what works in batterer intervention indicates that while there are some serious conceptual flaws to gendered models of treatment, such as Duluth (including the unsupported focus on the power and control motive and patriarchy as a major risk factor for violence), outcome studies have not found CBT to always be more effective, and that certain approaches (e.g., developing a strong facilitator-client relationship) may in fact account for successful interventions regardless of the program’s stated philosophy.
Based on this common factor research, discussions with facilitators and clients from various programs, and a comparison of my own program with observations of a gender-based model in action, I have put together a training for treatment providers, with suggestions on how to reduce polarization among providers and increase treatment effectiveness. Let me know if you want to know more. Meanwhile, I highly recommend the second edition of the book, The Great Psychotherapy Debate, by B. Wampold and Z. Imel (Routledge, 2015). The book showcases a new psychotherapy meta-model, the Contextual Model, that nicely accounts for findings from recent RAC batterer intervention outcome studies on the importance of the facilitator-client relationship and the value of Motivational Interviewing.
The UK mirrors the US and Canada in a lot of the research and practice that occurs in intimate partner violence (IPV). In the current review, (that will be published in Partner Abuse next year) myself and my colleagues sought to explore what IPV perpetrator programmes were provided within the UK. This was part of the wider review being conducted and organised by John Hamel.
We sought approval through the UK National Offender Management Service and moved forward with an edited version of the questionnaire that was being used in the US. We contacted prisons, probation services, charities and other organisations we found through online searches. One of the most interesting findings from this was the reluctance of some organisations to take part. In the paper (Bates, Graham-Kevan, Bolam & Thornton, in press) there is a quote from one such organisation; on finding out about my collaborators and my previous publications they decided: “Now I know the source of the research I do not wish to respond”. This was representative of a suspicion of our motives, agenda and how we would use the data. As a consequence we had quite a low response rate, at approximately 10%, although it was comparable with colleagues in other nations.
We found that the majority of provision was still aimed at men who had abused their female partners. There were still some strong influences of the Duluth/feminist model, often mixed with some CBT approaches too. We chose to supplement our findings with a review of the current accreditation procedures to give a better picture of the current state of provision within the UK. There are two methods for gaining accreditation; the first is through the UK Criminal Justice System which had currently four accredited programmes. Each has some feminist influences and each is only appropriate for heterosexual men.
Within the UK there is a further level of accreditation that some seek to achieve, that of the feminist organisation Respect. Respect (2012) and their accreditation standard applied to “all organisations providing domestic violence prevention programs (DVPPs) working with men who use intimate partner violence (IPV), and also providing integrated safety services (ISS) for partners and ex-partners of these perpetrators” (p.1). They are a very powerful organisation within the UK and hold a lot of political sway in lobbying the Government and influencing policy (Dixon et al., 2012). Their accreditation standards are firmly grounded in the feminist model and they accredit programmes that hold men truly accountable for their violence towards women. This of course ignores the wealth of literature that details that IPV is not just a unilateral problem of men hitting women (e.g. Bates, Graham-Kevan & Archer, 2014). The research team attempted to engage with Respect through email and social media to get up to date versions of their mission statement but we received no response.
There are few evaluations of Respect accredited programmes but one particularly well-known one in the UK is Project Mirabel (Kelly & Westmarland, 2015). The authors sought to challenge previous evaluations by creating a new, methodologically rigorous version but there were significant issues including no pre-post inferential statistical analysis and a comparison of effect using all starters and the completers – so 99 vs. 52 men.
Within this review, we as a team concluded that the Duluth model is still very influential within practice in the UK. It is something that is significantly impeding practice moving forward in terms of reducing IPV offending. We call for more evidence based practice within the area and an end to the “immunity” the model seems to have from needing to answer to any external empirical evaluation (Corvo, Dutton & Chen, 2008; p.112).
Bates, E. A., Graham-Kevan, N., & Archer, J. (2014) Testing predictions from the male control theory of men’s partner violence. Aggressive Behavior, 40(1) 42-55. doi: 10.1002/ab.21499
Bates, E.A., Graham-Kevan, N., Bolam, L. T. & Thornton, A. J. V. (in press) Review of Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programs in the UK. Partner Abuse.
Corvo, K., Dutton, D. G. & Chen, W. Y. (2008) Towards evidence-based practice with domestic violence perpetrators. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 16 (2), 111-130. doi: 10.1080/10926770801921246
Dixon, L., Archer, J. & Graham-Kevan, N. (2012) Perpetrator programs for partner violence: Are they based on ideology or evidence? Legal and Criminological Psychology, 17, 196-215. doi: 0.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02029.x
Kelly, L. & Westmarland, N. (2015) Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes: Steps Towards Change. Project Mirabal Final Report. London and Durham: London Metropolitan University and Durham University
Pence, E. & Paymar, M. (1993) Education groups for men who batter: The Duluth Model. New York, US: Springer Publishing
The Association of Domestic Violence Intervention Programs (ADVIP) 2016 International Conference was held July 10 at the Portsmouth Sheraton Hotel, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in conjunction with the International Family Violence and Child Victimization Conference and the Family Research Laboratory. ADVIP is the only international organization of mental health professionals, batterer intervention providers, and research scholars dedicated to evidence-based practice worldwide (www.domesticviolenceintervention.net)
This was a historic event, featuring presentations on domestic violence perpetrator treatment programs in the United States, Canada, Latin America, the U.K., and Africa, and representing a number of perspectives and solutions.
Domestic violence is a worldwide problem, and consists of physical, emotional and sexual forms of interpersonal abuse.
The causes, characteristics and consequences of domestic violence in some ways differ across countries and regions, but in other ways quite similar.
Outside of the United States, and particularly in underdeveloped countries, where laws against domestic violence either do not exist or remain unenforced, domestic violence intervention programs are scant, and underfunded.
There is a consensus that the causes of domestic violence can best be understood according to an Ecological Model, which acknowledges the importance of societal, neighborhood, family, and individual factors.
Interventions should be delivered within a cultural context. There should be a comparatively greater emphasis on social factors, such as the general oppression of women, in more patriarchal countries, but psychological, developmental and relationship factors have been found to be relevant everywhere.
These findings will be of enormous help in establishing more promising evidence-based policies for perpetrator programs throughout the world.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NATIONAL STANDARDS IN THE UNITED STATES:
Holding offenders accountable requires a multi-system response, including effective policing, prosecution, incarceration, judicial monitoring, and/or treatment.
Perpetrator treatment is one part of a coordinated community response that includes law enforcement, victim advocates, mental health professionals and other social service agencies.
Regardless of a perpetrator’s legal status, treatment should be based on the needs of that individual and the extent to which he or she presents a threat to current and future victims.
Treatment should be delivered by providers with substantial and accurate knowledge of partner abuse, including prevalence rates, abuser characteristics, causes and contributing factors, dynamics, and the negative impact on victims and families.
Perpetrator treatment plans should be determined through a thorough psychosocial assessment that includes, but is not limited to, known PA risk factors.
Treatment should be based on current best practices informed by empirical research on treatment outcome, treatment engagement, and risk factors for PA recidivism.
Although group is the most popular from of treatment, there is no empirical support for the wholesale prohibition of any particular modality.
Complete conference findings will be published in three special issues of the peer-reviewed journal, Partner Abuse: volume 7 (2016), issues number 3-4; and volume 8 (2017), issue number 1, and will include papers not presented at the conference – for example, on perpetrator programs in South Asia (www.springerpub.com/pa).
NIMH called the 1990’s “the decade of the brain”. The NIMH strategic plan reads, in part, “This is a time of great scientific excitement in mental health research. Building on new discoveries from genetics, neuroscience, and behavioral science, we are better poised to understand how the brain, behavior, and the environment interact to lead to mental disorders. Mental illnesses are now studied as brain disorders, specifically as disorders of brain circuits.” [italics added]. Along with rapid development in understanding of the neuropsychology of mental disorders has come greater understanding of the neuropsychology of violence. I have written three papers* in the last two years on the links between neuropsychological factors and domestic violence and in so doing have discovered new avenues for possible interventions and rediscovered some of the same resistance to change endemic in this field. The current policy/practice paradigm, as maintained at the federal level by the National Institute of Justice, and at the state and local levels by various domestic violence “certifying agencies” and “batterer” intervention providers, excludes from consideration a host of known perpetration risk factors. Recent research on neurochemical, neuroanatomical and neuropsychological risk for violence suffers the same fate as older research on addiction and mental health issues – deliberately misinterpreted or ignored. Admittedly, neuropsychological risk factors present to judges, and the general criminal justice system in general, complications regarding culpability, accountability, and the proper role of corrections. These complications are magnified in the area of domestic violence perpetration where even the basics of forensic mental have been deliberately excluded from policy and practice for decades. Whether research into the links between neuropsychological anomalies and domestic violence can be manipulated or misused to mitigate the personal responsibility of perpetrators should not influence whether or not such research is undertaken or respected. Domestic violence research must better incorporate the new and rapidly expanding research on neuroscience and neurochemistry into its theoretical framing of perpetration or continue to languish in scientific backwaters.
I just finished reading Emotions Revealed, by Paul Ekman (Henry Holt & Company, 2003). Initially, I was looking for more information about his famous research on the trans-cultural nature of emotions, and how the basic emotions of fear, sadness, anger, disgust, contempt, surprise, and happiness appear to be hard-wired into the human brain. I was pleasantly surprised to find a great deal of very practical information and advice on how to identify and mange emotions, including anger, from a combined evolutionary/cognitive-behavioral approach. It is the best book on emotions I have ever read, and directly relevant to the work we do with domestic violence perpetrators. Our clients not only have difficulties managing strong emotions, but also correctly reading other people’s emotions and other social cues. I would love to hear feedback from other ADVIP members who are familiar with Ekman’s work.