Category: Violence / Aggression

PS11- #C92 - Emotion Dysregulation and Alcohol Use as Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration Among Men Arrested for Domestic Violence

Saturday, Nov 18
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Violence / Sexual Assault | Emotion Regulation | Alcohol

Emotion regulation is an essential process for well-being (Gross & Thompson, 2007). Dysfunction in emotion regulation is a predictor of a number of mental health problems, including alcohol misuse (Holohan, 2001). Both emotion dysregulation and alcohol use have been shown to be independently associated with the perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV; Foran & O'Leary, 2008; Shorey, Brasfield, Febres, & Stuart, 2011). When combined in lab-based aggression paradigms or systematically investigated in cross-sectional data, these constructs are significantly associated with IPV perpetration (Ortiz, Shorey, & Cornelius, 2015; Watkins, DiLillo, & Maldonado, 2015). However, studies thus far have examined the joint influence of these constructs only in women and romantic dyads from college samples. The current study aimed to extend prior research by examining the influence of emotion dysregulation and alcohol use on physical and psychological IPV perpetration among men arrested for domestic violence.


The current study included 373 men arrested for domestic violence and court-ordered to attend batterer intervention programs. The Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS; Gratz, 2004) assessed emotion dysregulation; the psychological aggression and physical assault perpetration subscales of the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2; Straus et al., 1996) assessed psychological and physical IPV; and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT; Saunders et al., 1993) assessed alcohol use and problems.


We ran a path analysis to determine the pathways by which emotion dysregulation and alcohol use influenced IPV perpetration. The analysis revealed an indirect path to IPV, such that men’s difficulties with emotion regulation was associated with psychological aggression perpetration through alcohol use (B = .11, 95% CI [.05 to .16]). Additionally, results demonstrated a two-chain mediated path, such that difficulties with emotion regulation related to increased alcohol use, which related to higher psychological aggression scores, which related to higher physical assault scores (B = .04, 95% CI [.02 to .07]).


Results suggest that emotion dysregulation, alcohol use and problems, and psychological aggression may all play significant and intertwined roles in the perpetration of physical IPV among men arrested for domestic violence. Implications regarding these findings as well as future directions for research will be discussed.

Hannah L. Grigorian

University of Tennessee

Autumn Rae Florimbio

Graduate Research Assistant
University of Tennessee

Meagan J. Brem

Graduate Research Assistant
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee

Caitlin Wolford-Clevenger

Graduate Research Assistant
University of Tennessee

JoAnna Elmquist

Graduate Student
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee

Ryan C. Shorey

Assistant Professor
Ohio University
Athens, Ohio

Gregory L. Stuart

Professor
University of Tennessee