Psychological Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

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Insecure attachment has been found to be a risk factor for perpetrating physical intimate partner violence (IPV). However, this association is likely exacerbated by additional factors, such as conflicting insecure attachment in one’s partner and difficulties with overall emotion regulation and impulse control. The present study aimed to examine the associations between insecure attachment and physical IPV perpetration in male and female partners, as well as to examine whether these associations are exacerbated by involvement with a partner with opposing attachment needs and overall emotion dysregulation and impulsivity. Additionally, this study examined whether partners’ emotion dysregulation interacted to predict IPV. Two hundred eight heterosexual couples primarily recruited from a Hispanic-serving university completed questionnaires on attachment, emotion dysregulation, and one’s own and one’s partner’s perpetration. Results revealed that attachment anxiety, impulsivity, and an interaction effect between attachment avoidance and partner’s attachment anxiety were associated with self-reported, but not partner-reported, male perpetration. For females, attachment anxiety was associated with female IPV (self-reported and partner-reported), and impulsivity was associated with self-reported female IPV. Overall, results underscore how relationships between known risk factors and IPV perpetration may differ depending on if IPV perpetration is measured using self-reported or partner-reported data. Additional results and implications are discussed.


© 2021 by the authors.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health.


10.3390/ ijerph18147241

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Psychology Commons



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