Self-Determination Theory and Intimate Partner Violence: An APIM Model of Need Fulfillment and IPV

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Some of the most important outcomes of romantic relationships are those related to the mutual fulfillment of basic psychological needs (Deci & Ryan, 2014; Knee, Hadden, Porter, & Rodriguez, 2013). The present study tested an actor–partner interdependence model of self-determination theory’s mutual need fulfillment in couples as a predictor of intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration. Couples (N = 78 dyads) completed measures of basic psychological need fulfillment, relationship satisfaction, and intimate partner violence perpetration. Results suggest that women’s need fulfillment matters more in predicting men’s IPV perpetration, whereas men’s need fulfillment does not significantly predict women’s IPV perpetration. In other words, women’s need fulfillment acts as a protective factor against men’s IPV perpetration.

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