USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


Emotional dysregulation and intimate partner violence: A dyadic perspective

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Lindsey Rodriguez

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Objective: Although there has been a considerable amount of research on the association between emotional dysregulation and intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration, few researchers have examined this connection from a dyadic perspective. This perspective is important because emotional regulation is a largely dyadic process and IPV is often bidirectional. The current research aims to identify how partners’ levels of emotional dysregulation interact to predict IPV perpetration. Method: Participants included young adult romantic dyads (N = 160). Participants completed self-report measures of emotional dysregulation and psychological, physical, and sexual violence perpetration. Results: Actor and partner effects for physical and sexual violence perpetration were found and only an actor effect for psychological perpetration was found, indicating that higher levels of emotional dysregulation of either partner were associated with an increased risk of physical and sexual violence perpetration, and a higher risk of psychological perpetration when only the actor was dysregulated. A significant interaction between partners’ levels of emotional dysregulation, gender, and physical perpetration was found, indicating that when men were paired with relatively regulated female partners, their own dysregulation was not related to their perpetration. However, when paired with a relatively dysregulated female partner, their own dysregulation was related to their perpetration. Conclusions: These results underscore the dyadic nature of couple conflict and the importance of addressing both partnersemotional dysregulation in interventions. Future research would benefit from the development of measures of interpersonal emotion regulation and exploration of the possibility that couples-focused emotion regulation therapy may mitigate experiences of IPV. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)




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