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Preventing intimate partner violence via the Internet: A randomized controlled trial of emotion-regulation and conflict-management training for individuals with aggression problems
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
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2017 (English)In: Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, ISSN 1063-3995, E-ISSN 1099-0879, Vol. 24, no 5, 1163-1177 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective

The aim of this randomized controlled trial was to investigate the effect of an Internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (iCBT), which incorporated emotion-regulation and conflict-resolution techniques, on intimate partner violence (IPV). Another aim was to test the theoretical underpinnings of the treatment model using mediation analysis.

Method

Sixty-five participants with aggression problems in intimate adult relationships were recruited from the community and were randomly assigned to iCBT or to a monitored waitlist control. Participants were assessed with standardized self-report measures of IPV or aggression (Multidimensional Measure of Emotional Abuse, Revised Conflict Tactics Scale, and Aggression Questionnaire), relationship quality (Dyadic Adjustment Scale), anxiety or depression symptomatology (Patient Health Questionnaire; Generalized Anxiety Disorder Screener), at pretreatment, posttreatment (8 weeks), and 1-year follow-up. Process variables (subscales of Dysfunctional and Emotional Regulation Scale and Anger Rumination Scale) were assessed weekly over the active treatment phase.

Results

Robust linear regression analysis of all randomized participants showed significant treatment effects on emotional abuse relative to control at postassessment. Mediation analysis using growth curve modeling revealed that the treatment effect was partially mediated by changes in emotion-regulation ability. Controlled effects on secondary outcomes were also observed. Analyses of uncontrolled effects indicted that gains on IPV were maintained at 1-year follow-up.

Conclusions

iCBT focusing on enhancing conflict-resolution skills and emotion-regulation ability has the potential to reduce IPV among self-recruited individuals with mild forms of abusive behaviour in intimate relationships. Emotion-regulation ability is potentially a key therapeutic process of change.

Key Practitioner Message

  • Internet-delivered clinician-guided cognitive behaviour therapy is a viable treatment option for reducing intimate partner violence among self-recruited individuals with mild forms of abusive behaviour.
  • For persons who display patterns of frequent and severe violence, other treatments are most likely needed.
  • Emotion-regulation training is potentially a key therapeutic component that ought to be incorporated in interventions targeting IPV.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2017. Vol. 24, no 5, 1163-1177 p.
Keyword [en]
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy; Emotion Regulation; Mediation Analysis; Randomized Controlled Trial; Situational Couple Violence
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-141936DOI: 10.1002/cpp.2082ISI: 000412187000014PubMedID: 28261923Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85014455363OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-141936DiVA: diva2:1149174
Note

Funding Agencies|National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen)

Available from: 2017-10-13 Created: 2017-10-13 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Hesser, HugoAxelsson, SandraBacke, VictoriaEngstrand, JonnaGustafsson, TinaHolmgren, ElinJeppsson, UlrikaPollack, MariaAndersson, Gerhard
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PsychologyFaculty of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Behavioural Sciences and Learning
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