Date of Award

12-1995

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Betz

Second Advisor

Dr. Joseph Morris

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Brashear

Abstract

This study was descriptive in nature and examined the relationship between demographic variables, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) variables, and levels of violence as measured by the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) (Straus, 1979). The research sample consisted of 44 males entering a treatment program for male batterers. All participants completed a research protocol during a required assessment consisting of: (a) a General Information Sheet, (b) the MMPI-2, and (c) the CTS. The CTS was the only instrument administered solely for research purposes.

The MMPI-2 data were used to construct a sample composite mean profile. MMPI-2 data were also divided into the subsets of: (a) participants with a prior legal history and (b) participants with no legal history. Profiles were constructed using each subgroup’s mean T scores and were compared for substantial differences. All variables were placed in a correlational matrix and Pearson product-moment coefficients of correlations were calculated using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).

The correlational analysis produced 20 statistically significant coefficients of correlation between MMPI-2 variables and levels of violence significant at p<.01. The only demographic variable of statistical significance (p<.01) waseducational level. The MMPI-2 composite mean profile lacked clinically significant elevations ( > 65T) on any standard scale, selected Supplementary Scale or any Content Scale. Inspection of subgroup profiles revealed no clinical elevations on any MMPI-2 scale, no difference between either subgroup, and neither subgroup differed substantially from the sample’s composite mean profile. There were findings of defensiveness and subclinical elevations on the Pd and Pa scales in the composite mean profile.

Although MMPI-2 variables had statistically significant correlations with levels of violence at the p<.01 level, none of the corresponding coefficients of determination (r^2 = 34% to 15%) indicated sufficient strength to act as predictor variables. However, the MMPI-2 scales may serve as marker variables representing psychological characteristics shared by certain elements of the overall population of batterers.

The results suggest psychological characteristics of batterers include defensiveness, impulsivity, suspicion and mistrust, and interpersonal alienation as salient factors. Along with the psychoeducational material offered in batterer treatment programs, these psychological characteristics should be addressed with equal attention to effect change in this population.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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