Personality subtypes and differential treatment progress in men charged with domestic violence

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Blaine J. Fowers - Committee Chair


The batterer typology developed in this study integrated 14 variables including age, SES, substance abuse history, three criminal history factors, history of lethal behavior, history of violence in the family of origin, anger, depression, and three MCMI-III factors by means of a cluster analysis to yield five distinct clusters of men. The five clusters of batterers were labeled Overcontrolled, Conforming, Young-Extroverted, Impulsive-Borderline, and Chronic Criminal. Some features of past batterer typologies were similar, but the present study indicates that some previous typologies have glossed over important differences among batterers.The five clusters of men had differential rates of premature termination from treatment and counselor ratings on treatment progress tended to differ between groups. In particular, Impulsive-Borderline men terminated prematurely more often than the Conforming men who generally completed treatment successfully. In addition, counselors tended to rate the Conforming men's treatment progress more positively than any other group of men. These results support the growing consensus that a single treatment modality (group therapy) may not be appropriate for all male batterers. Suggestions were made to match needs and improve treatment for the five different subtypes of men. And finally, recommendations were made to improve batterer typology research.


Psychology, Personality; Sociology, Criminology and Penology; Psychology, Psychometrics

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