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Perceptions of Motives in Intimate Partner Violence: Expressive Versus Coercive Violence

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This study examined perceptions of motives in the perpetration of intimate partner violence. Respondents (N = 401) of diverse professions read three vignettes and indicated their perception of the aggressor's motive (from 1 = Exclusively Expressive; 5 = Exclusively Coercive). Half of respondents read vignettes describing male-perpetrated violence against a female partner; the other half, female-perpetrated violence against a male partner. Overall, male-perpetrated aggression was seen as more coercive than female-perpetrated aggression, particularly by shelter workers and victim advocates. Further analyses revealed that men generally gave higher ratings than women, and that women rated female-perpetrated aggression as less coercive than male-perpetrated aggression. In contrast, men did not differ in their ratings of male versus female perpetration. Implications are discussed with respect to the assessment and treatment of partner violence.
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Keywords: COERCIVE VIOLENCE; CONTROL; EXPRESSIVE VIOLENCE; INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE; MOTIVES; PATRIARCHAL PARADIGM; RESEARCH BIAS; SELF-DEFENSE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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