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The Interaction of Emotion Regulation and World Assumptions in Predicting Female Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration

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Rates of female-perpetrated intimate partner violence (IPV) have been historically underestimated. Although much of the empirical literature has focused on male perpetration, there has been a more recent interest in understanding the etiology of female-perpetrated IPV. Although emotion regulation has received attention in predicting risk for violence perpetration for both men and women, less is known regarding cognitive factors that influence perpetration risk. Furthermore, interactive effects that account for both self-regulatory and cognitive factors have remained largely unexplored. This study looks at the interactive effect of emotion regulation and world assumptions in predicting IPV perpetration in a community sample of females. Consistent with previous research, emotion regulation difficulties were significantly related to greater physical and psychological perpetration. Moderation analyses revealed that holding strong beliefs that one can and should be in control of oneself amplified the relationship between emotion dysregulation and IPV perpetration that was both psychological and physical in nature. Contrary to predictions, enhanced risk for physical IPV perpetration was also observed among those with high levels of emotion regulation difficulties and greater assumptions that the world is a benevolent place. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2014

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