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Emotional functioning, attachment style, and attributions as predictors of child abuse potential in domestic violence victims

Emotional functioning, attachment style, and attributions as predictors of child abuse potential in domestic violence victims

Violence and Victims 21(2): 199-212

To explore cognitive and emotional factors that may exacerbate child-abuse potential among domestic violence victims, 80 participants reported on their depression, hopelessness, anxiety, and anger as well as their attachment style and attributional style. Increased emotional difficulties as well as insecure attachment styles were significantly positively correlated with child abuse potential, although depression and anxiety were the strongest predictors. Externalizing blame for the spousal abuse was not associated with abuse risk. Women residing in shelters demonstrated significantly greater abuse risk than those in transitional housing programs, suggesting that greater temporal proximity to the spousal abuse may in part account for the increased abuse potential. Depression and hopelessness, however, appeared particularly relevant to increased abuse risk in domestic violence victims in the transitional housing system. Implications of these findings for working with battered women in terms of their emotional functioning and attachment style are discussed.

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Accession: 048944446

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 16642739

DOI: 10.1891/vivi.21.2.199

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