Masculine Discrepancy Stress, Emotion-Regulation Difficulties, and Intimate Partner Violence

Danielle S. Berke, Dennis E. Reidy, Brittany Gentile, Amos Zeichner
2016 Journal of Interpersonal Violence  
Research suggests that masculine socialization processes contribute to the perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) by men. Although this research has traditionally focused on men who strongly adhere to traditional gender norms, men who negatively evaluate themselves as falling short of these norms (a construct termed masculine discrepancy stress) have proven to be at increased risk of IPV perpetration. Likewise, men experiencing problems with emotion regulation, a multidimensional
more » ... uct reflecting difficulties in effectively experiencing and responding to emotional states, are also at risk of IPV perpetration. In the present research, we tested the hypothesis that the link between discrepancy stress and IPV perpetration is mediated via difficulties in emotion regulation. Three hundred fifty-seven men completed online surveys assessing their experience of discrepancy stress, emotion-regulation difficulties, and history of IPV perpetration. Results indicated that discrepancy-stressed men's use of physical IPV was fully mediated by emotion-regulation difficulties. In addition, emotion-regulation difficulties partially mediated the association between discrepancy stress and sexual IPV. Findings are discussed in terms of the potential utility of emotion-focused interventions for modifying men's experience and expression of discrepancy stress and reducing perpetration of IPV. Keywords masculine discrepancy stress; intimate partner violence; emotion regulation; multiple mediation Intimate partner violence (IPV) constitutes a significant and preventable public health problem with consequences ranging from loss of productivity, negative physical and mental health outcomes, and even death. Indeed, in a recent large-scale epidemiological study, IPV resulted in an estimated 2,340 deaths per year-accounting for 14% of all homicides (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2011). Importantly, seventy percent of the victims in this survey were women. It is necessary to note that men are also affected by Reprints and permissions: partner violence. Moreover, evidence suggests that men and women may experience similar motivators and precipitators of violence perpetration (Langhinrichsen-Rohling, 2010). However, national survey data indicate women are physically victimized by male intimate partners at higher rates and experience increased negative consequences. For example, nearly 13.4% of women versus 3.5% of men have been injured physically as a consequence of IPV (Breiding et al., 2014) . These data suggest the importance of gender socialization and masculine-relevant processes for understanding and preventing violence against women.
doi:10.1177/0886260516650967 pmid:27226013 pmcid:PMC5861012 fatcat:lcpb5wvzmngp5hml4clfmvweyy