Impulsivity and Decision-Making among Men Engaging in Mild Intimate Partner Violence
Randall C. Nedegaard, Tracy Sbrocco, Dheeshana S. Jayasundara

Research has been conducted supporting a Social Information Processing (McFall, 1982) conceptualization of intimate partner violence perpetration (Holtzworth-Munroe & Hutchinson, 1993; Nedegaard & Sbrocco, 2014). However, it has also been suggested that several transitory factors can influence the individual steps of this model (Crick & Dodge, 1994; McFall, 1989; Lemerise & Aresenio, 2000). One possible transitory factor is impulsivity. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of impulsivity on the perceived ability and utility of abusive behaviors among abusive men. Thirty-two abusive men, thirty-two maritally distressed, nonabusive men, and thirty-two maritally satisfied, nonabusive men were asked to complete a decision-making questionnaire where the subjective expected utilities (SEUs) and perceived ability ratings for specific behaviors were calculated using Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT). One-way ANOVAs revealed low impulsive abusers rated the SEUs of abusive behaviors significantly higher than any other group. Interestingly, non-impulsive abusers also rated their perceived ability to carry out healthy behaviors lower than all other groups. These findings suggest that there may continue to be value in conceptualizing abusive behavior within an impulsive/reactive and proactive/instrumental context. These findings suggest that abusive men who are low - impulsive may be at greater risk of choosing abusive behaviors in marital conflict situations.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jpbs.v7n1a2