Exploring the relevance of attachment theory as a dependent variable in the treatment of women mandated into treatment for domestic violence offenses

Michelle Mohr Carney, Frederick P. Buttell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of the study was to: (a) investigate the pre-treatment levels of interpersonal dependency and violence among women entering a 16-week, court-mandated, batterer intervention program (BIP) and determine if there were any associations between interpersonal dependency and violence; (b) investigate differences in demographic variables and psychological variables between treatment completers and drop-outs; and (c) evaluate the treatment effect of a standard BIP in altering levels of interpersonal dependency among treatment completers. Method: The study employed a secondary analysis of 75 women, 39 treatment completers and 36 drop-outs. Results: Analysis indicated that women who assault their intimate partners and are court-ordered into treatment are excessively dependent on their partners prior to beginning treatment, that level of interpersonal dependency is directly related to a multidimensional conceptualization of domestic violence (i.e., psychological aggression, physical assault, sexual coercion and injury), that interpersonal dependency is an important variable in predicting treatment completion and that the BIP increased the level of interpersonal dependency among treatment completers. Conclusion: Implications of the findings for professionals providing intervention services to women in court-mandated batterer intervention programs were explored and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-61
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Offender Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 24 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • Attachment theory
  • Batterer intervention programs
  • Women offenders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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