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Interpersonal problems as a mediator between attachment and intimate partner violence

Author(s): Lawson DM, Malnar SG


Although attachment and interpersonal problems are associated with intimate partner violence (IPV), their interrelationship in predicting IPV has not been examined. The present study examined whether hostile dominant interpersonal problems (i.e., domineering, vindictive, and intrusive) mediate the relationship between attachment (anxious and avoidant) and IPV (violence severity and psychological aggression) in a sample 100 partner violent men. Several meditational analyses were conducted based on Baron and Kenny’s (1986) model for mediation, including the bootstrap analysis of the sampling distribution of the indirect effect. Significant results indicated that (a) hostile dominant interpersonal problems mediated the relationship between avoidant attachment and violence severity, and (b) hostile dominant interpersonal problems mediated the relationship between avoidant attachment and psychological aggression. Hostile dominant interpersonal problems did not mediate the relationship between anxious attachment and violence severity or psychological aggression. Implications of the findings for the treatment of IPV are discussed.

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