An examination of parenting experiences in male perpetrators of domestic violence: A qualitative study

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Early experiences have been found to have an enduring long-term impact on adult relationships. The coexistence of love and violence is evident in attachment patterns across the life-span, and in adulthood is particularly apparent in domestically violent partnerships. The aim of the study was to examine in depth the early parenting experiences of men who are domestically violent. Seven male participants who were on probation orders for domestic violence were interviewed using the Adult Attachment Interview. The data were analysed qualitatively and the results indicated that all of the men had experienced unloving, rejecting and dangerous parenting. Participants minimized their own violence upon their female partners despite having recently completed an anti-violence training intervention. Clinical implications, particularly the need to examine the efficacy of treatment with domestically violent men, are discussed.

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