Department of Psychology, Gender Studies Minor




This study examined the relationship between intimate partner violence and adult attachment in a sample of 35 community couples. Both partners’ attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance were examined simultaneously as predictors of male-perpetrated verbal and physical intimate partner violence. Results from hierarchical regression analyses indicated high levels of female attachment anxiety predicted high levels of male-perpetrated verbal and physical violence. In contrast, male attachment was not predictive of male-perpetrated violence. These findings suggest for females, fear of abandonment and rejection may be a risk factor for becoming a victim of violence. Alternatively, exposure to violence may contribute to the development of attachment anxiety in females. Clinical implications include providing cognitive interventions to address female attachment anxiety.

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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Diana M. Doumas