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Female Domestic Violence Offenders: Their Attachment Security, Trauma Symptoms, and Personality Organization

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Unlike male domestic violence offenders, female domestic violence offenders have traditionally been overlooked in research and theory, despite the fact that females also have high rates of domestic violence perpetration. Towards the aim of extending extant research on male and female pepetrators of domestic violence, we examined attachment style, trauma symptoms, and personality organization in 33 female offenders receiving mandated treatment for domestic violence. These offenders were compared to 32 nonoffending women receiving psychological treatment. The Experiences in Close Relationships Revised (ECR-Revised) was used to examine adult attachment, the Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI) was used to examine trauma symptomology, and finally, the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory III (MCMI-III) was used to examine cluster B personality traits. Analyses indicated that female domestic violence offenders reported less attachment security, more trauma-related symptoms, and more personality psychopathology (Antisocial, Borderline, and Dependent Subscales) than did nonoffender clinical comparison women.
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Keywords: ADULT ATTACHMENT; FEMALE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENDERS; PERSONALITY ORGANIZATION; TRAUMA-RELATED SYMPTOMS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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