Men who batter : a study of modeling and self-monitoring etiology

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Martin, Kenneth T.
Cartwright, Jerry L.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services
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This research tested the hypothesis that men who batter possess enhanced abilities to self-monitor and self-control their self-presentation, and that this ability is developed through childhood learning. A random telephone survey of male heads of household was used to determine self-monitoring skills, battering behavior, and a childhood history of observing violence.In Shelby County, Tennessee, 212 men were interviewed by 6 trained interviewers. Subjects were divided into "violent" or "non-violent" groups based upon their responses to survey questions 28-45 (Straus', 1979, Conflict Tactic Scale). They were also divided into "history" and "no-history" groups based upon their answers to questions 51-54 (which asked about observing violence as children). These groups were then compared using the self-monitoring scale scores obtained from the first 27 survey questions (The Lennox-Wolfe Self-Monitoring Scale). Other questions, concerning demographic information and conditions surrounding current violence were also cross-tabulated with the different groups using a chi-square test.Of the 212 men in the sample population, the 52 who admitted violent behavior also achieved the highest scores on the self-monitoring scale. These results indicate that men who batter are also the most skilled at self-monitoring and in charge of their projected image. However, no conclusive evidence was found to support the theory that exposing children to violence will result in the development of enhanced self-monitoring skills. Upon examining the situations surrounding violence with a partner, some interesting results were obtained. Men who report being violent are more likely to be violent at night, in the home, and in the presence of children. No relationship was found between the use of alcohol and violent behavior.