Gender differences in attitudinal acceptance of intimate partner violence perpetration under attachment-relevant contexts

Christine E Valdez, Michelle M Lilly, David A Sandberg
Violence and Victims 2012, 27 (2): 229-45
Attachment theory has been one of the leading theoretical frameworks in the last few decades for explaining physical violence within romantic relationships. In this study, the authors examined differences in attachment patterns and attitudinal acceptance of violence perpetrated in romantic relationships among men and women. The Attitudinal Acceptance of Intimate Partner Violence questionnaire was developed to measure acceptance of intimate partner violence (IPV) under attachment-relevant contexts of abandonment, as well as other contexts identified in the literature. Results indicated that men with higher degrees of attachment anxiety were more accepting of both male- and female-perpetrated IPV under contexts of abandonment, and men with higher degrees of attachment avoidance were more accepting of female-perpetrated IPV under contexts of abandonment. Implications for research and treatment are discussed.

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