Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 291–301 | Cite as

Male Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence and Implicit Attitudes Toward Violence: Associations with Treatment Outcomes

Original Article


The present study examined the associations among implicit attitudes toward factors related to intimate partner violence (IPV) and objective, behavioral outcomes of participants legally mandated to attend partner violence interventions. Twenty-six male offenders, adjudicated within the past month on IPV charges, completed three sets of gender and violence themed implicit associations tests (IATs) to evaluate the relationships between implicit evaluations of women and violence and three key outcome measures assessed 6 months after enrollment in the study: self-reported prior year IPV perpetration, completion of a court-mandated partner abuse program, and criminal reoffending. IAT results indicated that more rapid associations between violence-related words and positive valences, rather than gender evaluations or associations between gender and violence, were associated with greater IPV perpetration during the year prior to involvement in the study as well as with poorer outcomes (i.e., greater treatment non-compliance and criminal recidivism) at the 6-month follow-up. Among explicit measures, only negative partner violence outcome expectancies were marginally associated with treatment compliance. None of the explicit measures predicted previous violence or recidivism. The findings are discussed in the context of reducing violence through promoting implicit cognitive change.


Intimate partner violence Implicit associations Attitudes Treatment outcome 



This research was supported in part by a grant from the Clifford B. Kinley Trust, Purdue University, awarded to Christopher Eckhardt. We would like to thank the personnel of the Marion County Probation Department for their assistance in this research.

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Research Institute on AddictionsUniversity at Buffalo, SUNYBuffaloUSA

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