Title page for ETD etd-42298-144412

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Copenhaver, Michael McDonald
Author's Email Address micopenh@vt.edu
URN etd-42298-144412
Title Testing A Social-Cognitive Model of Intimate Abusiveness Among Substance Dependent Males
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Eisler, Richard M. Committee Chair
Axsom, Daniel K. Committee Member
Clum, George A. Jr. Committee Member
Franchina, Joseph J. Committee Member
Lash, Steve Committee Member
  • Domestic Violence
  • Substance Dependence
  • Social-Cognitve Theory
Date of Defense 1998-05-04
Availability unrestricted
Throughout history, the human race has been characterized

by the use of physical and emotional aggression by

individuals, particularly males, in their intimate

relationships. Intimate abusiveness is particularly common

among substance dependent males. As a result of male

intimate abusiveness, victims suffer a variety of problems

ranging from emotional trauma to death due to physical

injury. Despite increased attention to this problem, our

understanding of the process leading to intimate

abusiveness is far from comprehensive. The primary purpose

of the present study was to expand our understanding of

intimate abusiveness through the application of a

social-cognitive model of intimate abusiveness among

substance dependent males.

Fifty-seven males from an inpatient substance abuse

treatment program participated. Subjects completed

questionnaires indicating their level of intimate

abusiveness. In addition, they completed partner-related

attribution measures as well as coping response measures

indicating how they would interpret and handle five

ambiguous vignettes involving their partner.

It was hypothesized that violent men would attribute

greater negative intent and responsibility to their

partner and that they would choose to handle the ambiguous

vignettes in less competent ways compared with non-violent

men. Further, it was predicted that the association

between intimate abusiveness and competency of coping

responses would be mediated by attributions made about the

partner. Results of the study generally supported

predictions. The implications of the results are

discussed as well as suggestions for future research.

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