Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Experimental Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Arthur Cantos

Second Advisor

Dr. Po-Yi Chen

Third Advisor

Dr. Frederick Ernst


Some research suggests that conflicting insecure attachment needs between romantic partners exacerbate the association between insecure attachment dimensions and physical intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration in men and women. However, the current literature examining this association are not without their limitations (i.e., small sample sizes, collapsing both partners' reports together to create their IPV variables, predominantly White samples, and utilizing attachment instruments that do not assess attachment dimensions directly). The present study aimed to address some of the limitations in previous research by examining the association between partners' opposing insecure attachment dimensions and male and female-perpetrated physical IPV in a sample of predominantly Hispanic couples. 208 heterosexual couples primarily recruited from a large, Hispanic-serving institution completed online questionnaires on attachment, one’s own IPV perpetration, and one’s partner’s IPV perpetration. Results for male-perpetrated IPV revealed that both attachment dimensions in men were associated with self-reported, but not partner-reported, male IPV perpetration. Additionally, attachment anxiety in women moderated the association between attachment avoidance in men and self-reported, but not partner-reported, male IPV perpetration. Results for female-perpetrated IPV revealed that attachment anxiety, but not attachment avoidance, in women was associated with self-reported and partner-reported female-perpetrated IPV. However, in contrast to male perpetration results, attachment avoidance in men did not interact with attachment anxiety in women regardless of how female-perpetrated IPV was measured. These findings underscore how associations between known risk factors and IPV perpetration may differ depending on if IPV perpetration is measured using self-reported or partner-reported data.


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