Abusive Personality Review.docx

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University of British Columbia
PSYC 331
Don Dutton

PERSONALITY DYNAIMICS OF INTIMATEABUSE Straus Conflict Tactics Scale: measure of the type of actions used to solve family conflicts- asks respondents to estimate the number of times during their marriage that they and their partner dealt with conflict in violent and non-violent ways. Straus and Gelles report assault rates by women against men that are generally higher than comparable rates for men assaulting women The cycle of violence: 1. Tension building: characterized by escalating anger outburst on the part of the man but a recognition that his behaviour is wrong. He is jealous and possessive. 2. Uncontrollable discharge of tensions that have built up during phase one. Either an external event or the internal state of the man. 3. Upon exhaustion, contrition, confession, promises of reform, attempts to convince the victim that the abuse will not happen again. Respondents found these stages predictable. Borderline Personality Organization encompassing BPD, antisocial personality disorder, narcissim personality disorder and others Kernberg describes their relationships as intense, unstable and intense anger Gunderson describes a 3 level defense structure of BPs that produces sudden shifts in phenomenology, affect and behaviour LEVEL ONE: frustrations increase, tension building LEVEL TWO: when the BP sees the relationship as possibly lost, defense structures express themselves in anger, devaluation of the significant other or open rage LEVEL THREE: Engages in behaviours to ward off aloneness: substance abuse and promiscuity Revitch and Schlesinger describe a catathymic personality that underwent 3 stages: 1 incubation-depression and tension building, 2 violent act-perpetrator views the victim as the cause and 3 relief-release of stored up affect, depression and anxious symptoms -BP’s intimacy needs are unmet but the requisite motivation and skills to assert the needs are non-existent -wife assault and BPD have been linked to child abuse done to the perpetrator -Self-reports of BPO measure contains 3 scales: 1. Identity Diffusion: poorly integrated self 2. Primitive Defenses: projection and splitting 3. Reality Testing: Transient psychotic states BPO scores were significantly related to anger, jealousy, use of violence and experience of adult trauma symptoms: sleep disorder in the group of wife assaulters -Strong associations were found between men’s BPO scores and women’s reports of male abusiveness -The scale has proven successful in all types of men, blue-collar men, college students, gay men etc. -Family of Origins was significantly correlated to abusive personality scores: rejection by father was the largest contributor to abusiveness -FOO association with abusive personality is stronger than the association with abusive behaviour> perhaps more than just social learning is occurring -whatever expectations arise out of early childhood in regards to attachment tend to persist over the life span- Bowlby Bowlby suggests interpersonal anger stemming from frustrated attachment needs directed at regaining contact with an attachment figure> their violent behaviour is thus termed >protest behaviour Fearful attachment style manifests itself in hypersensitivity to rejection and active avoidance of close relationships where vulnerability may exist- anxiety and anger are the central features of this type- these features lead to more chronic frustrations as per their needs -Abused boys are more likely to perpetuate abuse onto their own children-they exaggerate sex roles in a sad attempt to heal the damaged self -Abuse in the family could lead to PTSD new studies suggest this for people who have been exposed to repeated trauma over a long time, PTSD: heightened aggression, irritability, recurrent depression -fearfully attached college students make attributions of blame>tendency to project blame is a defining feature of BPO -BPO fearful attachment also connected with primitive defenses: turn the woman into a devalued object and project angry impulses onto it- this neutralizes the threat to his weak self-concept -Dutton found that the shame-inducing experiences committed by parents were significantly related to the later abuse a batterer would inflict on his wife Shame- global, painful and devastating where the self is attacked Shame-prone individuals externalize the cause thereby avoiding any personal responsibility, 3 recalled sources of shame in assaultive males: 1. public scolding 2. random punishment 3. generic criticism Dutton suggests a 2 part process 1. Shaming experiences appear to contribute to the formation of abusive personality 2. Physical abuse to the modeling of its behaviour manifestations -in non-assaultive groups abusive personality is still related to emotional abuse and verbal abuse -mood cycles are central to BPD but the behavioural forms may be learned reactions not just to external stress but to the internal cues of dysphoria How BPO’s are socialized- splitting good object from bad- women are either madonnas or whores, cultures can socialize men to expect women to be responsible for the outcome of the relationship -will rationalize their maltreatment of women by adopting more negative sexual stereotypes of women abusive men will blame women and this generalized to blaming women in general Catathymic homicide- an intense autonomic arousal and overwhelming anger during violence- Wertham views this state as inescapable -revitch and Schlesinger suggest an incubation period exists where the perpetrator is only partially conscious- isolation and rumination on the faults of the victim precede the violent act, which is carried out after the tension building and the belief the victim is the cause of the tension>a release of tension follows that presents superficial normalcy perp either perceives an impending loss of ego-integrity (abandonment issues) or invasion of autonomy (incubation homicides) in Dutton and Kerry’s study of spousal murders, most were unplanned and reactive> the man was making one last sta
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