Fatania, Rakhee (2010)
Foren.Psy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Traditionally, sociological accounts of the causes of intimate partner violence (IPV) have been adhered to by researchers and practitioners who consider men’s violence against female partners. However, a wide array of methodologically sound empirical literature highlights the importance of adopting a multi-factorial perspective in understanding the nature and aetiology of IPV and in informing policy, intervention and assessment in this domain. This thesis adheres to the empirical literature and aims to explore issues of IPV from a multifactor and gender inclusive perspective, with specific focus on the contribution that psychology can lend to understanding this phenomenon. A systematic review is presented to examine the interplay of psychological factors on the aetiology of male perpetration of IPV. The review identified that the risk factors substance abuse, childhood abuse, psychopathology and anger are predictive of male IPV. Future research should consider causal factors for female IPV offenders. Next, a critique of the psychometric State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2 is discussed in relation to the validity and reliability of its measurement of anger. Overall this protocol is a well established measurement of anger in male IPV offenders. However, further research is required to specify its applicability to the female population of IPV offenders. Third, an individual case study of an IPV and generally violent offender evaluates the usefulness of adopting a treatment strategy that is individually selected to suit the client’s criminogenic need. The outcome supports the notion that individualised approaches should be utilised in the context of treatment and assessment of IPV offenders. Finally, an empirical study explores the heterogeneity of females convicted of IPV and provides support for the typologies theorised by Holtzworth-Munroe and Stuart (1994). It is concluded that future research should explore this phenomena in community samples and the context of the violence when investigating subtypes of female IPV offenders. Consistently, the findings from this thesis highlight the need to adopt a multi-factorial and gender inclusive perspective to understand the true nature and aetiology of IPV. Multifactor approaches should be considered in the context of assessment and treatment of IPV offenders.
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