Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Gregory L. Stuart

Committee Members

Derek R. Hopko, Todd M. Moore

Abstract

The effectiveness of batterer intervention programs at reducing future intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration is limited. Learning about perpetrators to more comprehensively address issues relevant to their aggressive tendencies could aid in the development of more effective treatments. This study examined the prevalence of adulthood animal abuse perpetration and its association with psychological and physical IPV perpetration, antisocial traits, and alcohol use in a sample of men arrested for domestic violence (N = 307). Forty-one percent (n = 125) of the men committed at least one act of animal abuse since the age of 18, in contrast to the 3.0 percent prevalence rate reported by men in the general population. Findings were consistent with past research showing associations between IPV perpetration, adulthood animal abuse, antisocial traits, and alcohol use. Further, even after controlling for antisocial traits and alcohol use, adulthood animal abuse showed a trend towards a significant association with the perpetration of physical and severe psychological IPV perpetration. Implications for intervention programs and cross-sector reporting, as well as directions for future research, are discussed.

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