Aggressive Cognitions of Violent Versus Nonviolent Spouses

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Abstract

This study extends previous research on the relationship between aggressive cognition and intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration by comparing the aggressive cognitions of both husbands and wives (not just husbands) in an actual (not hypothetical) relationship problem discussions across three groups of couples—bi-directionally violent (V), nonviolent but maritally distressed (NVD), and nonviolent and nondistressed (NVND). Further extending previous work, across these groups, we also compared spouses' inferences of aggressive cognitions in their partners' thoughts and objective observers' inferences of aggressive cognitions. Violent spouses, whether male or female, had significantly more aggressive cognitions than NVD and NVND spouses. Findings are discussed in relation to how they extend past research and their clinical implications.

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