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Batterer intervention programmes: A meta-analytic review of effectiveness


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A meta-analysis of the state-of-the-art on the efficacy of batterer treatment programmes was conducted from the year 1975 to 2013. A total of 19 Spanish and English language research articles were retrieved yielding 49 effect sizes from a sample of 18,941 batterers. The results revealed that the recidivism rate as measured by couple reports (CR) was significantly higher than the rate based on official reports (OR), since the recidivism as measured by OR is underestimated. Overall, treatment showed a non significant positive weighted mean effect, δ = 0.41. Nevertheless, the counternull effect size, EScounternull =0.82, suggested a null effect was as probable as a treatment efficacy rate of 38%. The intervention type was not a significant moderator of recidivism, but the counternull effect sizes, EScounternull = 0.82 and 0.94, revealed an efficacy rate of 38% and 42% based on ORs, for Duluth Model and behavioral-cognitive treatment, respectively. The long-term treatment interventions had a significantly positive medium effect size, δ = 0.49. The implications of these findings for the design and assessment of future intervention programmes are discussed.
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Psychosocial Intervention 22 (2013) 153-160
1132-0559/$ - see front matter © 2013 Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid. Todos los derechos reservados
Psychosocial Intervention
Psychosocial Intervention
Intervención Psicosocial
Vol. 22, No. 2, August 2013
ISSN: 1132-0559
Batterer intervention programmes: A meta-analytic review of effectiveness
Esther Arias, Ramón Arce* y Manuel Vilariño
Departamento de Psicología Social, Básica y Metodología, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
Key words:
Intervention programme
Palabras clave:
Programa de intervención
Recaída en el maltrato
A meta-analysis of the state-of-the-art on the efficacy of batterer treatment programmes was conducted
from the year 1975 to 2013. A total of 19 Spanish and English language research articles were retrieved
yielding 49 effect sizes from a sample of 18,941 batterers. The results revealed that the recidivism rate as
measured by couple reports (CR) was significantly higher than the rate based on official reports (OR), since
the recidivism as measured by OR is underestimated. Overall, treatment showed a non significant positive
weighted mean effect, δ = 0.41. Nevertheless, the counternull effect size, ES
=0.82, suggested a null
effect was as probable as a treatment efficacy rate of 38%. The intervention type was not a significant
moderator of recidivism, but the counternull effect sizes, ES
= 0.82 and 0.94, revealed an efficacy
rate of 38% and 42% based on ORs, for Duluth Model and behavioral-cognitive treatment, respectively. The
long-term treatment interventions had a significantly positive medium effect size, δ = 0.49. The implications
of these findings for the design and assessment of future intervention programmes are discussed.
© 2013 Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid. All rights reserved.
Programas de intervención con maltratadores: Una revisión meta-analítica de su
Este artículo presenta la revisión metaanalítica llevada a cabo con el fin de conocer el estado actual de la
eficacia de los programas de tratamiento a maltratadores según los trabajos publicados desde 1975 a 2013.
Del total de 19 artículos en inglés y en español recuperados se extrajeron 49 tamaños de efecto a partir de
una muestra total de 18.941 maltratadores. Los resultados muestran que el índice de recaída según reflejan
los informes de parejas era significativamente superior que el de los informes oficiales, dado que en estos
últimos está subestimado. En general el tratamiento presentaba un tamaño del efecto medio ponderado
positivo pero no significativo (δ = 0.41). Sin embargo el valor contranulo del tamaño del efecto, ES
0.82, indicaba que el efecto nulo era tan probable como un índice de eficacia del tratamiento del 38%. El
tipo de intervención no moderaba significativamente la recaída, aunque los valores contranulos del tamaño
del efecto ES
= 0.82 y 0.94 indicaban un índice de eficacia del 38% y 42% respectivamente, de acuerdo
a los informes oficiales, para el tratamiento con el modelo Duluth y el cognitivo conductual respectivamen-
te. Las intervenciones a largo plazo tenían un tamaño del efecto medio significativo positivo de δ = 0.49. Se
comenta la implicación que estos resultados pueda tener para el diseño y evaluación de programas de in-
tervención futuros.
© 2013 Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid. Todos los derechos reservados.
Prior to the first meta-analysis on the efficacy of batterers’
treatment programmes, the reviews of intervention programmes
yielded contradictory results. Thus, while Hamberger and Hastings
(1993), and Rosenfeld (1992) concluded that treatments did not
work, Davis and Taylor (1999) found that the effect of treatment was
substantial, h = 0.41. Though several authors (Babcok, Green, & Robie,
2004) assert these effect sizes are modest in terms of Cohen’s (1988)
classification categories, i.e., a small effect size (h < 0.50), it should be
noted that Cohen himself indicated that the magnitude of the effect
size should not be taken as an absolute value, but should rather be
interpreted according to the effects anticipated in a given context.
Thus, if this effect size is contrasted with the effect size between
cognitive distortions and violence as measured in d = 0.82 (Chereji,
Pintea, & David, 2012), corresponding to a 68.5% improvement with
treatment in contrast to 32.5% of the control group (a large effect
size), the results do not appear to be promising. Notwithstanding the
foregoing, in comparison to the treatment efficacy of delinquents as
Historia artículo:
Recibido: 14/09/2012
Aceptado: 28/02/2013
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154 E. Arias et al. / Psychosocial Intervention 22 (2013) 153-160
measured by the recidivism rate with a small effect size of d ranging
from 0.23 to 0.42 (Redondo, Sánchez-Meca, & Garrido, 1999, 2001,
2002), the data obtained by Davis and Taylor represent an increase
similar to the treatment efficacy expected in this context. Moreover,
the effect size of Davis and Taylor (1999) entails a 20% increase in the
recidivism rate, which is equated to 40% of batterers reoffending in
comparison to the 60% of non-treated offenders. Previous meta-
analyses have identified moderators with significant positive effects
with a small treatment efficacy effect size (Babcok et al., 2004; Feder
& Wilson, 2005; Levesque & Gelles, 1998). Furthermore, these
authors have obtained inconsistent results or even negative
treatment effects. Though the effect sizes were small, they were
comparable to those obtained for the treatment of delinquents and
were indicative of treatment efficacy. To put it another way, a woman
is 5% less likely to be reassaulted by a man who was arrested,
sanctioned, and sent to a batterers’ programme than by a man who
was simply arrested and sanctioned (Babcock et al., 2004, p. 1044).
Working with an estimated population of 100,000 batterers, this
would equal 5,000 fewer batterers; in relation to the hypothetical
recidivism base rate of approximately 25% (Bennett, Call, Flett, &
Stoops, 2005; Gondolf, 2004) this would imply a recidivism rate of
around 20,000 of treated batterers.
The most consistent results highlight that the recidivism base rate
of non-treated batterers as measured by Official Reports (ORs) is
lower (21%) than the measure based on Couple Reports (CRs), which
is estimated to be 35% (Babcock et al., 2004; O’Leary et al., 1989;
Rosenfled, 1992). Surprisingly, previous meta-analyses have tended
to focus on design variables, e.g., experimental vs. quasi-experimental
variables, which have a methodological-scientific significance but do
not provide specific guidelines aimed at enhancing treatment
efficacy. With this purpose in mind, Arce and Fariña (2010), Lila,
Oliver, Galiana, and Gracia (2013) and McGuire, Mason, and O’Kane
(2000) have defined variables which are considered to be
fundamental for the implementation of batterers’ treatment,
specifically for those ordered in the community such as: contents,
length (number and interval between sessions), duration,
intervention level, risk assessment, treatment adherence and
progress, and the rationale underlying intervention. First,
programmes that are tailored to the specific needs of each batterer
enhance treatment efficacy (Holtzworth-Munroe, Meehan, Herron,
Rehman, & Stuart, 2000), whereas standard programmes with
similar content across the board for all batterers not only lack efficacy
but may even prove counterproductive due to the failure to adapt the
intervention to the needs of each batterer (Bowen, Gilchrist, & Beech,
2005). Thus, programmes should seek to address the specific needs
of each individual batterer though in practice this strategy is almost
always neglected. Second, gender violence is entrenched in a culture
of violence that has been described as a form of toxic cognition that
is essentially internal, stable, and global (Maruna, 2004).
Consequently, brief interventions are less effective than long-term
programmes since the duration of each session as well as the number
of and interval between sessions have a decisive impact on the
acquisition and consolidation of socio-cognitive skills given that
domestic violence is grounded in internal, stable, and global
cognition associated to ongoing recidivism and violent behaviour
(Collie, Vess, & Murdoch, 2007; Hutchings, Gannon, & Gilchrist,
2010), which is highly resistant to treatment and hinders adherence
(Isorna, Fernández-Ríos, & Souto, 2010; Wormith & Olver, 2002).
Third, conventional interventions, of which multimodal interventions
(cognitive-behavioural) have proven to be most effective (Beelman &
Lösel, 2006; Redondo et al., 1999, 2001, 2002), have focused
exclusively on the batterer and have often neglected other aspects
that are crucial for social integration and competence through social
bonding and employment. Thus, alienation or unemployment foster
the continuity of a cycle of violence (Fariña, Arce, & Novo, 2008;
Gracia, Herrero, Lila, & Fuente, 2009). Moreover, multimodal
interventions involving individual (cognition) and group
(behavioural) sessions achieve better outcomes than group-only
sessions (Arce & Fariña, 2010; Novo, Fariña, Seijo, & Arce, 2012). An
exhaustive control of treatment adherence and progress is not
feasible in group sessions, and they fail to stengthen responsibility
taking among batterers. Thus, multimodal and multilevel
interventions involving individual and group sessions are more
effective than exclusively individual sessions. Forth, a treatment
requires an ongoing means of measuring the effects of treatment –in
this case, teatment progress. In general contexts, such as clinical
evaluation, the aim of the assessment is to determine treatment
outcomes, but forensic or prison contexts require a differential
diagnosis of feigning (American Psychiatric Association, 2000)
focused on ensuring treatment adherence and progress. In other
words, the feigning of treatment adherence and progress is prevalent
among convicted batterers and sexual offenders who seek to gain
prison benefits, hence the high risk of recidivism. Fifth, the
therapeutic rationale underlying most batterer treatment
programmes undermines treatment efficacy in two ways. Treating
batterers as patients implies batterers are not responsible for their
own behaviour owing to exogenous causes, which hinders treatment
adherence and progress, and justifies the persistance of a culture of
violence (Maruna & Copes, 2005). Furthermore, the professional
implementing the treatment programme may be conceived as an
unwitting accomplice aiding the batterer. An alternative is a rationale
whereby the role of the professional is to apply the law and serve the
wider interests of society to ensure the batterers become fully aware
that they are the only ones to be held directly accountable for their
The assessment of batterers’ treatment programme efficacy has
been the source of much controversy regarding reliability of
measures. Though recidivism in domestic violence is the most
extensively used criterion for measuring treatment efficacy, a wide
range of measures have been employed to assess recidivism rates
such as police or court reports, trial convictions, prison sentencing,
victim reports, partner reports, or even batterer self-reports. Due to
the considerable amount of overlapping between police, court, and
prison databases, these data are often jointly referred to as Official
Reports/Registers. Nevertheless, the reliability of these sources as an
estimate of recidivism remains a controversial issue in the literature
(Novo et al., 2012). For instance, meta-analysis (Babcock et al., 2004;
O’Leary et al., 1989; Rosenfeld, 1992) have found a 21% recidivism
rate based on ORs and 35% rate based on CRs ( = 0.42), i.e., CRs
report 0.42 standard deviation more recidivism than ORs (a medium
effect size). A further instance concerns the treatment effects on
cognition that sanction and forerun (in comparison to cognitive
distortions that have not been shown to precede violence) violence
(Maruna & Mann, 2006) –in this case intimate partner violence,
what Novo et al. (2012) referred to as the internal mechanisms
underlying violence. Though the reliability of these measures based
on psychometric instruments has been attested, recidivism continues
to be the standard measure of batterers’ treatment efficacy, both in
the field of science and in terms of socio-political assessment.
Ever since the advent of batterer re-education programmes, two
models have been the most extensively used for the treatment of
batterers, i.e., the Duluth Model and interventions that have been
encompassed under the umbrella term of Cognitive-Behavioural
Treatment programmes (CBT). The former, which is currently the
most prominent of the two models, takes its name from the
pioneering programme set up in Duluth (Minnesota) and combines a
gender (feminist) approach with a psychoeducational approach
grounded in the assumption that the primary cause of gender
violence is patriarchal and sexist ideology that sanctions male
dominance and relegates women to submissive obedience. Hence,
the goal of treatment is to challenge male dominance and to foster
egalitarian relationships. On the other hand, CBT programmes
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E. Arias et al. / Psychosocial Intervention 22 (2013) 153-160 155
envisage violence as a learned behaviour, which is best offset by
promoting and reinforcing non-violent alternatives aimed at
developing social skills and anger management (Babcock et al. 2004).
A further option arising from literature reviews and meta-analysis is
the creation of another treatment category referred to as “Other
Types of Intervention” (OTI) covering a wide variety of treatment
programmes such as Psychodynamic counselling, Anger Management,
and Mind Body Bridging.
Thus, the aim of this study was to perform a meta-analysis to
learn the state-of-the-art of the efficacy of batterer treatment
programmes from the 1975 to 2013 by assessing studies measuring
treatment efficacy in terms of the recidivism rate.
Database search
The search was restricted to studies assessing batterers’
treatment programmes efficacy from 1975, one year after
Martinson’s (1974) doctrine suggesting that “nothing works” in
relation to the treatment of delinquents, to the present date (2013).
A review of the batterers’ treatment literature was undertaken
using the following search strategies: a) search in broad spectrum
databases (both small databases and specialized databases with
quality control such as Scopus and the Web of Knowledge were
included), such as PsycInfo, ERIC, Scirus, Google, and Google
Academia; b) search in gender violence observatories (e.g., www.;; www.mincava.;;;; c) researchers in the field were contacted (i.e.,
the corresponding authors of both retrieved and excluded articles
were contacted); and d) the reference sections of previous meta-
analysis were reviewed and cross-referenced.
The list of keywords was generated through a system of successive
approximations whereby relevant keywords cited in the articles and
previous meta-analysis were cross-referenced. The most productive
keywords (other keywords overlapped with the search results) were:
batterer, intervention program, evaluation, assessment, effectiveness,
intimate partner violence, partner-violent men, recidivism,
reoffending, attrition, domestic violence, batterers’ reeducation
programmes, gender violence aggressors, recidivism, programmes
evaluation, prison treatment, and efficacy.
Criteria for inclusion in the study
Bearing in mind the objectives of the meta-analysis, in order to be
selected for the study the articles retrieved from the database search
should meet the following criteria: a) report sample size; b) report
recidivism rate for treatment completers; c) recidivism measured by
ORs (official reports, e.g., police, court, or prison reports) and couple
reports (the aggressor self-reports were excluded since batterers
tend to underreport the true incidence of abuse which would
contaminate the results); d) describe the treatment theoretical
approach, contents, and duration of the intervention programme;
and e) measure recidivism during the follow-up period (studies with
a follow-up shorter than 6 months were discarded). In studies where
relevant data were lacking, the authors were contacted to request
additional data to be subsequently added to the meta-analysis. By
applying these criteria, 19 articles from Spanish and English authors
were retrieved, yielding 49 effect sizes from a sample of 18,941
Data analysis
The procedure consisted of a bare-bones meta-analysis. As the
measure of recidivism is often expressed as percentages/proportions
and in the studies where this was not the case it was converted into
proportions, the measure of recidivism adopted in this meta-analysis
was the proportion of reoffending batterers (data on recidivism in
other offences were excluded) during the follow-up period. The
measure of the effect size was calculated on the basis of the difference
in proportions. This involves a previous non-linear transformation of
proportions since the simple difference in proportions is not an
accurate estimate of effect size –the difference in proportions does
not provide a scale of equal detectable units. The effect size in terms
of proportions was calculated using Cohen’s h (1988) and Hedges
and Olkin’s δ (1985) based on the procedure of Kraemer and Andrews
(1982). The results of both methods of analysis were similar, with
almost equivalent sizes in the low values and a slightly larger size for
the higher for the δ statistics. Nonetheless, this did not affect the
qualitative evaluation of the effect size.
In the h index, the percentages were transformed into Φ by the
formula 2arcsin√p. The substraction of the transformed proportions
was h. For the δ statistics, in line with the procedure of Kraemer-
Andrews, the pre- post test effect size was estimated by the difference
of the inverse of the normal cumulative distribution function,
Thus, δ is the difference of the inverse function of the probability of
the experimental group minus the control,
= Φ
) – Φ
). The
difference of the inverse function in percentages (δ) or of the Φ (h),
that is, an effect size of 0.20, 0.50, and 0.80 was considered to be
small, medium, and large respectively. The δ was the index of choice
for the results of the meta-analysis. The studies that met the inclusion
criteria were classified as either experimental or quasi-experimental.
The experimental design studies (see Table 1 for the list of retrieved
articles and the selection criteria) show two recidivism rates, one for
the experimental group, i.e., batterers who had completed treatment
and another for the control group, i.e., non-treated batterers. The
batter intervention studies with a non-equivalent control group
design, e.g., studies comparing treatment completers with treatment
dropouts, were classified as quasi-experimental (see Table 2 for the
list of the 13 retrieved articles and the selection criteria). Given that
treatment non-compliance is associated to recidivism, i.e., recidivism
rates among treatment dropouts are higher or even doubled the rate
among non-treated batterers (Bennett & Williams, 2001; Dutton,
Bodnarchuk, Kropp, Hart, & Ogloff, 1997), studies contrasting the
recidivism rates of non-equivalent control groups artificially amplify
treatment efficacy. As for these designs, the recidivism rate contrast
values were .21 for ORs, and .35 for CRs, which are in accordance
with the base rates that have been consistently reported in the
literature (Babcock et al., 2004; O’Leary et al., 1989; Rosenfeld, 1992).
Once the effect sizes had been calculated, the following were
computed: the weighted mean δ for the entire sample size; the
observed weighted mean variance (S
); standard deviation (SD
the true variance (S
); standard error (SE
); and the confidence
interval (90% CI). If the interval contained zero, it indicated
heterogeneity (no significant effect) and further analysis was
conducted to successively examine other moderators.
To estimate the practical utility of treatments, the Binomial Effect
Size Display (BESD) was applied (Rosenthal & Rubin, 1982)
transforming δ into r by means of the formula r = δ/√δ
+ 4. The r was
converted to a BESD by means of the formula (.50± r/2) * 100. The
measure of overlapping distributions was performed by U1 statistic
(Cohen, 1988).
Most of the effect sizes were not significant (the confidence
intervals contained 0), indicating the acceptance of H
. However, the
confidence intervals were not exactly precise for accepting the null
hypothesis (Cortina & Dunlap, 1997; Frick, 1996). For the effects that
were not significant (the confidence interval contained 0) with a
medium or large effect size, the hypothesis of a null effect (0) was
contrasted by means of ES
(Rosenthal & Rubin, 1994)
formula for the size in terms of the correlation being, r
)/(1 + 3r
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156 E. Arias et al. / Psychosocial Intervention 22 (2013) 153-160
For the analysis of moderators the following were coded: the
recidivism variables (OR, n = 18,148, k = 33; CR, n = 1,456, k = 13);
follow-up time (less than 12 months, k = 13; more than 12 months, k
= 35); duration of treatment (< 16 sessions/weeks and > 16 sessions/
weeks); intervention level (individual vs. multilevel –the multilevel
intervention contingency was not registered); type of session
(individual, group, or combined –no type of intervention [individual or
combined] contingency was registered. Although Stith, Rosen, &
McCollum, 2004 defined a couple intervention as an individual
intervention [experimental group 1], actually this is not an individual
intervention); contents (adapted to the needs of each batterer vs.
homogeneous for all batterers –only one contingency was registered
that may be attributed to adapted content, but it referred to clinical
cases [group 3 of the study of Coulter & VandeWeerd, 2009], not to
batterer treatment); treatment adherence and progress (control of
treatment adherence and progress: yes vs. no –no contingency was
registered in the measurement of this variable); rationale behind the
intervention (therapeutic vs. re-educational –information was not
available for coding this variable in a reliable way); risk control (yes vs.
no –information was not available for coding this variable in a reliable
way); and treatment type (Duluth, k = 29; CBT, k = 8; and OTI, k = 9).
Coding reliability. The coding was carried out separately by two
researchers who agreed on all of the coding of the different categories.
Thus, coding was reliable.
Results. The results reveal a significantly higher rate (+.156), z =
13.0, p < .001, with a very substantial difference (< 13 SD) in
recidivisms as measured by CRs in comparison to ORs. Thus, the ORs
entail covert recidivism given that this rate may be higher as many
couples refused to report their partner’s recidivism due to the threat
of re-victimization (i.e., a woman may fear that the disclosure of
recidivism in the presence of her partner may lead to subsequent
retribution), a recidivism rate of .156 that was significantly greater, z
= 51.23, p < .001, than the statistically admissible margin of error
Outlier analysis
Prior to performing the meta-analysis, an outlier analysis was
performed to avoid contaminating the results. As treatment efficacy
varies according to the variable under assessment, an outlier analysis
was conducted for each measure, with the decision criterion being
±2SD of the mean effect size δ. The results found that three studies of
Stith et al. (2004) were more than 2 standard deviations above the
mean for treatment efficacy and were thus eliminated.
Global analysis
Figure 1 illustrates the procedure for calculating the 17 meta-
analysis, as well as the resulting effect sizes (δ), the number of
studies (k) included in each analysis, and the sample size (n). Of the
Table 1
Quasi-experimental designs
Study n Treatment type and
intervention format
Duration an d length
of intervention
Measure of recidivism
during follow-up
Recidivism rate % Recidivism rate δ
1. Saunders (1996) G1: 61
G2: 68
G1: Duluth + CBT
G2: Psychodynamic process
12 sessions + 20
support (32 weeks)
24 months (OR -CR) OR
G1: 23.2%
G2: 20.3%
G1: 34%
G2: 33.3%
2. Dobash, Dobash,
Cavanagh and Lewis
40 Duluth
6-7 months 12 months (OR -CR) OR: 7% CR: 33% OR: 0.67 CR: 0.05
3. Murphy, Musser, and
Maton, (1998)
235 Duluth
(format not specified)
22 sessions 12-18 months (OR) OR:15.7% 0.2
4. Babcock and Steiner
106 Duluth
36 weeks 24 months (OR) OR: 8% 0.6
5. Jones and Gondolf
P1: 3 months
P2: 3 months
P3: 5.5 months
P4: 9 months
15 and 30 months
6. Jenkins and Menton
114 CBT
9 weeks 30 months (OR) OR: 10% 0.47
7. Bowen, Gilchrist, and
Beech (2005)
86 Duluth
24 weeks + 5
11 months (OR) OR: 21% 0
8. Bennet, Call, Flett, and
Stoops (2005)
384 Duluth
24 weeks 18 months (OR) OR: 15.4% 0.21
9. Labriola, Rempel, and
Davis (2005)
157 Duluth
26 weeks 12 months (OR) OR: 6% 0.75
10. Tolleffson and Gross
102 Duluth
20 sessions 7-58 months (OR) OR: 18% 0.11
11. Tollefson, Webb,
Shumway, Block, and
Nakamura (2009)
57 Mind-body Bridging
8-10 sessions 9-27 months (OR) OR: 9% 0.53
12. Coulter and
VandeWeerd (2009)
G2: 9386
G1 and G2 Duluth Group
G3 specialized Treatment
G1: 8-12 weeks
G2: 26 weeks
G3: 26 sem-1year
1-10 years (OR) OR
G1: 8.8%
G2: 8.3%
G3: 8.6%
G1: 0.55
G2: 0.58
G3: 0.56
13. Pérez, Giménez-
Salinas, and Juan
598 CBT
25 weeks 12 months (OR) OR: 4.6% 0.88
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E. Arias et al. / Psychosocial Intervention 22 (2013) 153-160 157
46 initial effect sizes, with a sample of 18,941 subjects, the δ weighted
mean was 0.41, 90% CI [-0.12, 0.94], that is, the results revealed a non
significant positive treatment effect. What is more, treatment may
have considerable negative effects: as much as a 6% increase in the
recidivism rate. Notwithstanding this, the effect size is not necessarily
null, ES
= 0.82, that is, there is as much evidence to support a
un null treatment effect as there is to show a 38% intervention
efficacy rate. Nevertheless, the credibility interval of the effect size
suggested the existence of further moderators. Thus, the studies
were classified according to the duration of the follow-up period,
Table 2
Experimental designs
Study n Treatment type and
intervention format
Duration and length
of intervention
Measure of recidivism
during follow-up
Recidivism rate % Recidivism rateδ
1. Davis, Taylor, and
Maxwell (1998)
G1: 129
GC: 186
39 hours
GE1: 8 weeks
GE2: 26 weeks
6 and 12 months
OR 6m
G1: 7%
G2: 15%
GC: 22%
CR 6m
G1: 23%
G2: 19%
GC: 21%
OR 12 m
G1: 10%
G2: 25%
GC: 26%
CR 12m
G1: 14%
G2: 18%
GC: 22%
OR 6m
G1: 0.7
G2: 0.26
CR 6m
G1: -0.07
G2: 0.07
OR 12 m
G1: 0.64
G2: 0.03
CR 12m
G1: 0.31
G2: 0.14
2. Dunford (2000) 861
G1: 168
G2: 153
G3: 173
GC: 150
G1 and G2 Group
G3 Individual
G1: 12 months (6
session weekly and 6
G2: 26 weeks +
G3: 12-month
6 months (CR)
12 months (OR)
G1: 4%
G2: 3%
G3: 6%
GC: 4%
G1:29 %
G2: 30%
G3: 27%
GC: 35%
G1: 0
G2: 0.13
G3: -0.19
G2: 0.14
G3: 0.22
3. Feder and Dugan
404 Duluth
GE: Programme
GC: Conditional
26 weeks 12 months (OR) GE: 24%
GC: 21%
GE: -0.1
4. Stith, Rosen, and
McCollum (2004)
GE1: 14
GE2: 16
GC: 9
Duluth + CBT
GE1 Partner
GE2: Partners Group
GC: Pretest and
6 weeks 6 and 24 months (CR) 6 months
GE1: 43%
GE2: 25%
GC: 67%
12 months
GE1: 0%
GE2: 13%
GC: 50%
6 months
12 months
5. Lin et al. (2009) 301
GE: 70
GC: 231
Duluth + CBT
12-18 weeks 6 and 9 months (CR) 6 months
9 months
6 months
9 months
6. Taylor and Maxwell
GC: 312
5 days 6 and 12 months (OR) 6 months
12 months
6 months
12 months
K = 46
δ = 0.41
N = 18,941
k = 33
δ = 0.42
n = 18,148
k = 13
δ = 0.05
n = 1,456
< 1 year
k = 4
δ = 0.18
n = 593
< 1 year
k = 29
δ = 0.04
n = 17,555
< 1 year
k = 8
δ = 0.03
n = 1,188
< 1 year
k = 5
δ = 0.12
n = 268
k = 24
δ = 0.41
n = 15,044
k = 5
δ = 0.12
n = 217
k = 3
δ = 0.18
n = 494
k = 5
δ = 0.47
n = 1,206
k = 5
δ = 0.06
n = 745
k = 4
δ = 0.52
n = 1,898
> 16 sessions
k = 19
δ = 0.49
n = 14,517
≤ 16 sessions
k = 14
δ = 0.18
n = 3,631
≤ 16 sessions
k = 6
δ = 0.16
n = 434
> 16 sessions
k = 5
δ = 0.14
n = 420
Figure 1. Meta-analytical model for examining recidivism reports, duration of follow-up, and intervention type as moderators
Note. OR = Official reports; CR = Couple reports; δ = weighted mean effect size; k = number of effect sizes for each analysis; CBT = cognitive-behavioural treatment programmes;
OTI = other types of intervention. In the analysis of the moderator treatment duration the results of the study of Lin et al. (2009) were not included since the duration of the in-
tervention was not accurately specified (from 12 to 18 weeks).
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158 E. Arias et al. / Psychosocial Intervention 22 (2013) 153-160
since previous reviews claim it is one of the main moderators of
criminal recidivism (Gondolf, 2000, 2002; Redondo et al., 2001) and
since prior analysis have found differences in recidivism as measured
by ORs or CRs in relation to the follow-up period.
Effects due to the variable of the measure of recidivism
The meta-analysis of the ORs with an n of 18,148 batter ers found
a non significant positive weighted mean treatment effect, δ = 0.42,
90% CI [-0.07, 0.91]. However, as the magnitude of the size was close
to medium, the counternull effect was computed, ES
= 0.84,
indicating that the probability of finding a null recidivism treatment
effect is equal to getting a 39% success rate. As for the meta-analysis
of the CRs with a total population of 1,456 batterers, treatment effect
was not significant, δ = 0.05, 90% CI [-0.52, 0.63]. Moreover, the CI
showed that treatment might have negative or even detrimental
effects leading to increased recidivism rates reaching 27.8% (δ =
Given that the confidence intervals for both the ORs and CRs
measures of recidivism had a negative lower limit, i.e., though
treatment had a positive weighted mean effect it may also have had
a negative effect, further search for moderators was undertaken to
identify the variables underlying the difference in effects.
Effects due to the measure of recidivism and follow-up time. In line
with previous studies that assert that recidivism occurs primarily
within the first two years, and in the case of domestic violence in the
first six months (Gondolf, 2000, 2002; Redondo et al., 2001), the two
follow-up categories were coded: < 12 months and ≥ 12 months. The
results revealed an effect size for recidivism as measured by ORs at
12-month follow-up (k = 4) of δ = 0.18, 90% CI [-0.36, 0.65], that is, a
positive but non significant mean effect size that may even be highly
negative (succinctly, the recidivism rate may rise to 17.7%), whereas
for a follow-up period longer than 12 months (k = 29) of δ = 0.04, 90%
CI [-0.45, 0.53] there is a not significant or near null effect that can
be very negative (i.e., it can lead to a 22.0% increase in the recidivism
rate). Likewise, the treatment effects in the measure of recidivism in
CRs revealed a non significant mean effect close to 0, with negative
effects of 28.3% at 12-month follow-up (k = 8), δ = 0.03, 90% CI [-0.59,
0.65] and non significant positive and potentially negative effects
reaching 18.2% in the follow-up period longer than 12 months, (k =
5), δ = 0.12, 90% CI [-0.37, 0.61]. These results indicated the confidence
intervals of δ had a negative lower limit both in the OR and CR
measures and in both follow-up periods, thus an analysis of the
moderators was conducted. At this point, the moderator type of
analysis was the best candidate for analysis, since numerous studies
have reported that treatment type has effects on recidivism, the
highest effects being observed in cognitive-behavioural treatments
(Redondo et al., 1999, 2001, 2002). Bearing in mind that the effects
size were not significant and overlapped (U1 = .00 and .04, for the
overlapping distribution of the short and long-term follow-up in the
ORs and CRs, respectively), the variance for the short and long-term
follow-up in the ORs and CRs was small (S
= 0.11, and 0.14 for short-
term follow-up in the ORs and CRs, respectively, and 0.09 and 0.09
for the long-term follow-up in the ORs and CRs, respectively), and
the distribution of treatment types for each of the follow-up periods
would entail several cells with insufficient studies, the ORs and the
CRs were aggregated for the analysis of treatment types (cognitive-
behavioural, Duluth, and others).
Effects due to the measure of recidivism and the type of intervention.
The results of the meta-analysis exhibited a non significant positive
mean effect in the ORs for the Duluth Model treatment type (k = 24),
δ = 0.41, 90% CI [-0.09, 0.92]; a non significant positive mean effect
for the CBT programmes (k = 5), δ = 0.47, 90% CI [-0.20, 1.14]; and a
significant positive mean effect and a moderate size for the OTI (k =
4), δ = 0.52, 90% CI [0.29, 0.75]. As the effect sizes were not significant
for the Duluth Model or the CBT programmes, but were approximately
a medium size, they were contrasted with a null effect. Counternull
effect size was 0.82 for the Duluth Model, that is, data suggested that
the probability of the null effect for the Duluth Model in reducing
recidivism was equal to a 38% efficacy rate. As for the CBT
programmes, a ES
= 0.94 supported as much a null effect as a
42% success rate. In the measure of recidivism based on CRs the
results found a non significant positive mean treatment effect of the
Duluth Model (k = 5), δ = 0.12, 90% CI [-0.06, 0.30]; a non significant
positive mean effect of the CBT programmes (k = 3), δ = 0.18, 90% CI
[-0.08, 0.44]; and a non significant negative mean effect of the OTI,
(k = 5), δ = -0.06, 90% CI [-0.81, 0.69]. In other words, treatment may
even have negative effects on recidivism rates reaching 37.5%.
Effects due to the measure of recidivism and the duration of the
intervention. The measure of recidivism based on ORs in the brief
interventions had a non significant positive weighted mean effect
(k = 14), δ = 0.18, 90% CI [-0.58, 0.94]; and long-term programmes had
a statistically significant weighted mean positive effect (k = 19),
δ = 0.49, 90% CI [0.05, .93), i.e., a medium positive effect size.
The treatment effects as measured by CRs in brief interventions
had a non significant weighted mean positive effect (k = 6), δ = 0.16,
90% CI [-0.07, 0.39]; long-term treatment programmes had a non
significant weighted mean positive effect (k = 5), δ = 0.14, 90% CI
[-0.09, 0.37].
This meta-analysis has certain limitations that should be borne in
mind when extrapolating or generalizing the results to other
populations. First, the effects of a meta-analysis may be inadvertently
contaminated by other variables that preclude the estimate of an
effect size due to treatment. Second, details of several of the moderators
initially selected for this study were not fully reported or were not
accurately measured by the studies selected for this meta-analysis.
Third, the measures for batterer treatment efficacy based on ORs and
CRs were not entirely accurate since they entailed a margin error in
the estimates of the recidivism rates (hidden victimization/undetected
delinquency). Most of the interventions were evaluated by the authors
themselves who were conscious that the continuity of their
intervention programme depended on positive outcomes which may
undermine the reliability of the evaluation (thus, the detected outliers
were the 3 effect sizes of the same author with a positive effect 2SD >
M, whereas the interventions with the highest negative effect sizes
corresponded to the external assessments of Jones and Gondolf, 2002).
Taking these limitations into account in generalizing the results, the
following conclusions may be drawn:
On the whole, the treatment of batterers had a positive but non
statistically significant effect. As for some specific treatments, it may
also have had considerably negative effects both in ORs and CRs.
Nevertheless, this does not imply that the batterers’ treatment
efficacy rate is null, given that the probability of an effect being null
is equal to a 38% efficacy rate which is quite a respectable efficacy.
Hence, the evidence remains inconclusive and sharp conclusions
cannot be drawn (Eckhardt et al., 2013; Smedslund, Dalsbo, Steiro,
Winsvold, & Clench-Aas, 2011).
Treatment efficacy was not sensitive to the moderator duration of
the follow-up (short-term vs. long-term) in the ORs or CRs. In other
words, the follow-up period was not a differential indicator of
treatment efficacy, which contradicts the findings of Gondolf that
the greatest recidivism rate occurs during the first months (Gondolf,
2000, 2002).
The ‘type of intervention’ moderator (Duluth Model, CBT or OTI
Programmes) had no significant effects in CRs or ORs for the Duluth
Model and the CBT Programmes though the effects were significant
for the OTIs. The lack of a significant treatment effect in the Duluth
Model and CBT Programmes corroborated the findings of Babcok et
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E. Arias et al. / Psychosocial Intervention 22 (2013) 153-160 159
al. (2004). However, the contrast of the observed effect size with a
null effect size (0 efficacy rate) showed that the evidence for
supporting a null recidivism efficacy rate in the ORs for the Duluth
Model and CBT treatment programmes was the same as a 38% and
42% efficacy rate, respectively. As for the positive effects of the OTIs,
these rest on psychological-psychiatric treatment (Coulter &
VandeWeerd, 2009) in which the main aim of treatment is
psychopathology, not gender violence. Thus, this intervention is the
most apt for addressing the needs of batterers. Consequently, further
studies are required on the effects of treatment type to identify those
variables that are mitigating its potential effects, such as the control
of treatment adherence (Arce, Fariña, Carballal, & Novo, 2009), the
psychological adjustment (Lila, Gracia, & Murgui, 2013) or the
motivation for change (Eckhardt et al., 2013).
The ‘duration of the intervention’ moderator (brief vs. long) had
no significant effect in the CRs whereas in ORs, long-term
interventions had a significant mean effect size though no significant
mean effect size was found in brief interventions. Thus, long-term
interventions were more efficacious in the ORs, i.e., they officially
reduce recidivism, but do not appear to do so in the daily life of
couples (CRs).
Though the treatment of batterers may have negative effects on
recidivism rates, treatment should be aimed at achieving positive
effects, i.e., the implementation of treatment programmes that entail
negative effects is entirely unacceptable. This underscores the need
to identify the characteristics of treatment efficacy studies with
considerable negative effect sizes, which in this meta-analysis were
as follows: Group 3 of The San Diego Navy Experiment (Dunford,
2000), that was characterized for being brief (< 16 sessions) and CBT
being applied individually in a military base; some of the Jones and
Gondolf’s (2002) studies that were characterized as group
interventions based on the Duluth Model; and the study by Lin et al.
(2009) that was defined as a mixed (Duluth Model and CBT) group
treatment programme. In short, no nexus was found between the
treatment programmes which would indicate other causes are
responsible for the negative treatment effects. These findings suggest
that further research is required to ascertain the causes underlying
these negative effects.
In conclusion, overall, the treatment of batterers is not efficacious,
though some programmes were (k = 16 for the positive effect of a
small effect size or larger than ≥ 0.20) or had negative effects (k = 7).
Of the moderators, only the type of intervention (i.e., OTIs) and the
duration of the intervention (long-term) were significant, i.e.,
interventions adapted to the batterers’ needs (OTI: psychological-
psychiatric programme for batterers with psychopathology) and
long-term interventions, which would indicate that (toxic) cognition
that sanctions domestic violence is highly resistant to treatment.
Nonetheless, the results remain inconsistent and further studies are
required to assess the efficacy of batterer treatment programmes,
i.e., to examine moderators that may explain why some batterers
respond to treatment yet others fail to do so under similar treatment
programmes. This calls for authors, reviewers, and editors to provide
explicit details regarding the treatment contents, techniques, and
methods. This study has focused on certain variables that are crucial
for the assessment of treatment, but have often been neglected in
the literature, since initially they have been considered of minor
importance though the results of this meta-analysis have shown
they are robust, e.g., the techniques and methods applied that involve
active, focused, collaborative learning (the principle of responsibility),
the implementation of treatment programmes by specialized and
trained staff, and the implementation of additional judicial measures
(Lila, García, & Lorenzo, 2010; McGuire et al., 2000).
Conflicts of interest
The authors of this article declare no conflicts of interest.
This research has been sponsored by a grant of the Spanish
Ministry of Science and Innovation to the project “Reeducación de
penados por violencia de género: Implementación y evaluación de
programas de tratamiento” (Ref.: EDU2011-24561).
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... However, accurately measuring the success of these interventions entails serious controversies and methodological difficulties (Arias et al., 2013). For this reason, many researchers have decided to employ objective measurements (e.g., official recidivism, validated scales assessing the future risk of recidivism, couple reports…) in combination with qualitative interviews to assess the success of the SBI (e.g., therapist reports after the end of the intervention that rank the risk…) (Arce et al., 2020;Arias et al., 2013;Babcock et al., 2004;Eckhardt et al., 2013;Radatz & Wright, 2016). ...
... However, accurately measuring the success of these interventions entails serious controversies and methodological difficulties (Arias et al., 2013). For this reason, many researchers have decided to employ objective measurements (e.g., official recidivism, validated scales assessing the future risk of recidivism, couple reports…) in combination with qualitative interviews to assess the success of the SBI (e.g., therapist reports after the end of the intervention that rank the risk…) (Arce et al., 2020;Arias et al., 2013;Babcock et al., 2004;Eckhardt et al., 2013;Radatz & Wright, 2016). ...
Professionals and researchers have dedicated important efforts to understanding the underlying factors that explain the failure to complete interventions (dropout) and the recidivism of men convicted of intimate partner violence (IPV) against their female partners. There is a growing interest in measuring emotional decoding and empathic deficits in IPV perpetrators to better understand dropout and recidivism proneness, due to their direct impact on behavioral regulation. In the current study, we first aimed to examine whether the emotional decoding abilities of facial expressions and empathic abilities (cognitive and emotional), as well as their interrelationships in IPV perpetrators (n = 561), would explain dropout, treatment attendance, and recidivism (risk and official) once treatment ended. Our results allowed us to conclude that emotional decoding abilities and perspective taking (cognitive empathy) were significantly and negatively associated with dropout and recidivism. Two moderation models were significant. On the one hand, participants with low emotional decoding abilities presented lower intervention doses the lower their perspective taking. Furthermore, the percentage of participants that reoffended was higher among individuals with low and moderate perspective taking who dropped out. Therefore, our study highlights the importance of conducting emotional decoding and empathic assessments during the initial stages of intervention programs to clearly outline the therapeutic needs of IPV perpetrators. This would allow designing coadjuvant and complementary training programs that can support the main interventions by increasing treatment adherence and, in turn, reducing the risk of recidivism.
... The program was designed for men who are not violent toward women and girls. As such, EMAP differed substantially from batterer intervention programs, which have been shown to be mostly ineffective [6,7]. Nonetheless, it is neither feasible nor ethical to screen potential participants based on their history of perpetration of IPV. ...
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Introduction: The Engaging Men through Accountable Practice (EMAP) program is a series of facilitated group discussions for men in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that sought to reduce intimate-partner violence and transform gender relations. While a previous analysis found null impacts on women's experience of past-year intimate-partner violence (IPV), these average results obscure important heterogeneity. The study objective is to analyze the effects of EMAP on subgroups of couples based on their initial levels of IPV. Methods: We use two rounds of data (baseline and endline) collected from adult men (n = 1387) and their female partners (n = 1220) as part of a two-armed, matched-pair, cluster randomized controlled trial conducted between 2016 and 2018 in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Loss to follow up was low as 97% of male and 96% of female baseline respondents were retained at endline. We define subgroups of couples based on their baseline reports of physical and sexual IPV using two different methods: i) subgroups determined by binary indicators of violence at baseline, and ii) Latent Class Analysis (LCA). Results: We find that the EMAP program led to a statistically significant decrease both in the probability and severity of physical IPV among women who experienced high physical and moderate sexual violence at baseline. We also find a decrease in the severity of physical IPV (significant at the 10% level) among women who experienced both high physical and high sexual IPV at baseline. Findings indicate that the EMAP program was more effective at reducing IPV perpetration among men who were the most physically violent at baseline. Conclusion: These results suggest that men who perpetrate violence against their female partners with greater severity than average may be inspired to reduce their use of violence through participatory discussion with less violent men. In contexts of endemic violence, programs like EMAP can lead to a meaningful short-term reduction in harm to women, perhaps even without transforming prevailing norms about male superiority or the acceptability of IPV. Trial registration: Trial registration number: NCT02765139.
... The conducted studies concluded that there was a lack of empirical evidence to support the effectiveness of programs in the United States, Canada (Babcock et al., 2004(Babcock et al., , 2016Cannon et al., 2016;Eckhardt et al., 2013;Gondolf, 2004), and Europe (Akoensi et al., 2012;Arias et al., 2013;Ferrer-Perez & Bosch-Fiol, 2018;Ginés Canales et al., 2015;Hamilton et al., 2012;Wojnicka, 2015), however, there is evidence that some approaches are more effective than others . Therefore, the question about what, how, and when to evaluate; what elements comprise effectiveness; and finally, what are the standards or reference points for those who need to measure it is constantly raised (Gondolf, 2004;Eckhardt et al., 2013). ...
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Purpose Although batterers’ intervention programs (BIPs) constitute an important part of the coordinated response to intimate partner violence (IPV) and contribute to increasing the perpetrators’ accountability and keeping victims safe, the effectiveness of these programs is still debated. Only recently has the focus of these debates shifted away from researching outcomes by measuring overall program effectiveness toward specific qualities of interventions across program models that may be effective for the distinct client (Babcock et al., Clinical Psychology Review,23(8), 1023–1053, 2004; Zarling et al., Psychology of Violence,9(3), 257–266, 2019). The discussion on the practical implementation of BIPs was supplemented by various significant concepts emerging from new empirical findings, such as differential treatment, motivational interviewing, and effective facilitator–client alliances (Hamel et al., Partner Abuse,11(4), 387–414, 2020; Holtrop et al., Journal of Interpersonal Violence,32(8), 1267–1290, 2017). This paper aimed to address some of the abovementioned concepts by identifying challenges that arise during the implementation of BIPs in Lithuania. Methods Using qualitative data from semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with BIPs facilitators, BIPs attendees, and various stakeholders, the paper discusses how to contribute to more effective BIPs outcomes. Results According to this study, the process of implementing BIPs in Lithuania should be systematized by incorporating existing instruments, such as motivational interviewing, risk-based assessment, and differential treatment, evidence-based programs focused on different theoretical approaches, and forms of implementation. Conclusion The study found that the consistency and integrity of the entire BIP implementation process should be prioritized, and institutional cooperation in Lithuania needs to be improved to achieve a successful coordinated response to intimate partner violence.
... More than 2,500 BIPs in the US reported adopting the Duluth model to treat perpetrators in intimate relationships (Boal & Mankowski, 2014). The Duluth model was developed approximately four decades ago based on the traditional notion of males being batterers and females being victims (Arias, Arce, & Vilariño, 2013). It posits that sociocultural, patriarchal ideology allowed males, primarily perpetrators in intimate relationships, to control females instead of focusing on behavioural or mental health problems (Pence, Paymar, & Ritmeester, 1993). ...
This study explores an abusive wife's symptoms and risk factors of intimate partner violence (IPV) in a heterosexual relationship. A qualitative approach, using a conceptual cluster network, was used to analyse the family therapy case of a wife abusing her husband. Findings indicate that the wife's IPV‐related symptoms included victim mentality, despair, depression, insomnia, aggression, and the desire to divorce the husband. The wife's risk factors were present at the personal, family‐relational, and sociocultural levels. This study indicates that therapists counselling violent Korean couples may explore couples' communication styles, undifferentiation of self, transference, the culture of filial piety, and the influence of Confucian culture.
... Meta-analyses have shown that, overall, IPV intervention programs had a minimal effect on reoffending (e.g., Arias et al., 2013;Cheng et al., 2021;Travers et al., 2021;Wilson et al., 2021). These studies synthesize controlled studies of IPV interventions over a span of several years, including studies from the early days of IPV intervention programming. ...
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Extant research demonstrates diversity among intervention programs for people who have perpetrated intimate partner violence (IPV) in terms of theoretical approach, length, and composition. The present study explores community-based IPV intervention programs delivered in Saskatchewan, Canada, a province with a substantial rural population and a high rate of IPV. Twenty-five professionals representing 11 programs provided details of available IPV interventions in an online survey. Findings provide insight into the characteristics of IPV intervention programs and the experiences of professionals who facilitate these programs, including their observations regarding successful interventions and barriers to completion faced by participants. These findings inform recommendations for policy, practice, and future research.
... This raises a reflection on how violent men are not usually mentally ill, but present significant psychological deficits that are susceptible to treatment, it is a learned behavior on the part of the abuser. Therefore, prevention of future victims also makes psychological treatment of the aggressor advisable (Arias, Arce, & Vilariño, 2013). ...
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Una reflexión del hombre a partir de conductas de maltrato manifestadas en la mujer por causa del alcohol, los celos, la dependencia económica y pautas de crianza. En este estudio se busca describir los estereotipos agresivos del hombre en el Municipio de Soacha, Comuna 4, Altos de Cazucá, a través de la utilización del enfoque histórico-hermenéutico de estudio descriptivo; la recolección de datos se realizó a través de 6 entrevistas a profundidad y observación no participante a dos mujeres víctimas de maltrato. Por lo tanto, la investigación plantea un perfil del hombre maltratador de acuerdo a los comportamientos y tipologías expuestas, tratando de agrupar a estos hombres a partir de sus características personales y estilos de violencia. En consecuencia, es necesario profundizar en esta problemática social y conocer más allá de un estereotipo o imagen común de la persona maltratadora.
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Background There is a need for robust evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of domestic abuse perpetrator programmes in reducing abusive behaviour and improving wellbeing for victim/survivors. While any randomised controlled trial can present difficulties in terms of recruitment and retention, conducting such a trial with domestic abuse perpetrators is particularly challenging. This paper reports the pilot and feasibility trial of a voluntary domestic abuse perpetrator group programme in the United Kingdom. Methods This was a pragmatic individually randomised pilot and feasibility trial with an integrated qualitative study in one site (covering three local-authority areas) in England. Male perpetrators were randomised to either the intervention or usual care. The intervention was a 23-week group programme for male perpetrators in heterosexual relationships, with a planned average of three additional one-to-one sessions, and one-to-one support for female current- or ex-partners was delivered by third sector organisations. There was no active control treatment for men, and partners of control men were signposted towards domestic abuse support services. Data were collected at three-monthly intervals for nine months from both male and female participants. The objectives assessed were recruitment, retention, data completeness, fidelity to the intervention model, and acceptability of the trial design. Results This study recruited 36 men (22 randomly allocated to attend the intervention group programme, 14 to usual care), and 15 current- or ex-partners (39% of eligible partners). Retention and completeness of data were high: 67% of male, and 80% of female participants completed the self-reported questionnaire at nine-months. A framework for assessing fidelity to the intervention was developed. In interviews, men who completed all or most of the intervention gave positive feedback and reported changes in their own behaviour. Partners were also largely supportive of the trial and were positive about the intervention. Participants who were not allocated to the intervention group reported feeling disappointed but understood the rationale for the trial. Conclusions It was feasible to recruit, randomise and retain male perpetrators and female victim/survivors of abuse and collect self-reported outcome data. Participants were engaged in the intervention and reported positive benefits. The trial design was seen as acceptable. Trial registration: ISRCTN71797549, registered 27/05/2022
This chapter will examine the role of fathers as perpetrators and victims of intimate partner violence. The chapter will begin with a vignette based on the experiences of the first author that illustrates some of the challenges of working with fathers in the contexts of interpersonal violence services. The chapter will also describe the broader research on fathers and interpersonal violence, including rates of perpetration and victimization, and the impacts of these experiences. The chapter uses a family systems and critical feminist perspective to frame the intersection of fathering and interpersonal violence. Interventions including batterer intervention programs, Responsible Fatherhood programs, and the Caring Dads and Fathers for Change programs are highlighted. The chapter concludes with a set of recommendations for practitioners and programs to improve the engagement of fathers in their services, including the development of more programs aimed at serving fathers.KeywordsIntimate partner violenceFathersBatterer intervention programsCaring DadsFathers for Change
In this article, we used a novel hybrid approach to review literature concerned with family and domestic violence (FADV) perpetrators. Our intention was to chart the research and publication activity of authors with Australian affiliation to identify homegrown evidence related to stopping the perpetration of violence. This involved systematic searching of literature from the Scopus electronic database, utilization of VOSviewer to sort keyword co-occurrences and authorship linking for 1,494 publication records over a 30-year period, and the review of 21 articles with perpetrator focus, identified from the 50 most cited publications. We found that Australians’ authoring interests in FADV, over the last three decades, with perpetrator focus were predominantly concentrated on gender, rape and sexual assault, coercive control, and child abuse. In the most cited literature, six major themes were identified: perpetrator motivations, perpetrator interventions, patterns of violence, pandemic duet, perception of blame, and cyberstalking and violence. An upward curve in Australian authoring activity in the period under review aligns with societal shifts in which FADV was once considered a private issue and has now become ubiquitous in the public domain. Our findings revealed that research into perpetrators is insufficient to promote a zero-tolerance approach to FADV. Our corresponding in-depth literature review provides valuable insights surrounding perpetrator intervention programs with the goal of more effectively addressing the emerging challenge of technology-facilitated coercive control.
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In the present meta-analysis, the magnitude of the relationship between cognitive distortions and anger and violent behaviour of incarcerated offenders, based on selected data for the relationship between anger and violence, and cognitive distortions and violence was empirically assessed. Out of nineteen studies included for analysis nine of them contain statistical indicators regarding the relationship between anger and violence, and fourteen studies regarding cognitive distortions and violence. The results indicated a strong relationship both between anger and violence, and between cognitive distortions and violent behaviour. Furthermore, the moderating effect of the type of instruments (self-reported vs. observational behavioural measurements) used for violence assessment was tested. The results indicated that the type of instruments had no significant influence on the cognition-violence relationship, QB(1) = 0.12, p > .05, while in case of the anger-violence relationship, a significant moderating effect was identified, QB(1) = 14.26, p
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In Spain, the mandatory community rehabilitation of convicted male intimate-partner violence offenders opens new avenues for the treatment of these offenders. To determine the effectiveness of an experimental cognitive-behavioral treatment programme with content adjusted to target the specific cognitive limitations or deficits of each individual intimate-partner violence offender, a field study was designed to assess the rehabilitation effects on the underlying internal mechanisms that foster offending. 130 convicted intimate-partner violence offenders underwent pre- and postintervention assessment of the internal underlying mechanisms that spur offending. The pre-rehabilitation results showed that convicted intimate-partner violence offenders exhibited, in comparison with the normative population, hostility (i.e., aggression, anger, fury, irritability, rage, resentment), persecutory ideas (i.e., suspicious, fear of losing autonomy, need of control, difficulties in expressing their hostility), and depressive symptoms. The rehabilitation effects were significant, positive and with a moderate effect size for depressive symptoms, large for hostility, and moderate for persecutory ideas. In conclusion, the results substantiate the effectiveness of this rehabilitation program for the treatment of violent thinking.
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In this review, we provide a descriptive and detailed review of intervention programs for intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetrators and survivor-victims. Given the extensive personal, interpersonal, and societal costs associated with IPV, it is essential that services being offered by the criminal justice, mental health, and medical communities have requisite empirical support to justify their implementation. The review involved a detailed summary of all studies published since 1990 using randomized or quasi-experimental designs that compared an active intervention program to a relevant comparison condition. These studies included 20 studies investigating the effectiveness of “traditional” forms of batterer intervention programs (BIPs) aimed at perpetrators of IPV, 10 studies that investigated the effectiveness of alternative formats of BIPs, 16 studies of brief intervention programs for IPV victim-survivors, and 15 studies of more extended intervention programs for IPV victim-survivors. Interventions for perpetrators showed equivocal results regarding their ability to lower the risk of IPV, and available studies had many methodological flaws. More recent investigations of novel programs with alternative content have shown promising results. Among interventions for victim-survivors of IPV, a range of therapeutic approaches have been shown to produce enhancements in emotional functioning, with the strongest support for cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) approaches in reducing negative symptomatic effects of IPV. Supportive advocacy in community settings has been shown to reduce the frequency of revictimization relative to no-treatment controls, although rates of revictimization remain alarmingly high in these studies. Brief interventions for victim-survivors have had more complex and less consistently positive effects. Several studies have found significant increases in safety behaviors, but enhanced use of community resources is often not found. It remains unclear whether brief safety interventions produce longer term reduction in IPV revictimization. Discussion summarizes the general state of knowledge on interventions for IPV perpetrators and victim-survivors and important areas for future research.
The introduction in Spain of the Spanish Law on Comprehensive Preventive and Protective Measures against Gender Violence, (L.O. 1/2004), has supposed that a very large number of sentenced as batterers who are eligible to parole or supervision orders as an alternative to incarceration. This paper reviews the state of the art in terms of the theoretical explanations and efficacy of the interventions, concluding that the intervention that has proven to be more effective is one driven the specific needs and characteristics of the batterer than those based on general intervention programs for all the batterers. The evaluation schedule for this aim is discussed. Other additional features of the intervention that mediate the efficiency of the outcomes are also discussed. For the treatment under these conditions, in Galician, Norwest of Spain, a psychosocial program was developed the Galician Programme for the Treatment and Re-education of Convicted Gender Aggressors (Arce and Fariña, 2007). The results of the implementation of this program from 2005 to 2010 are satisfactory.
This paper reviews the treatment techniques most often applied in European countries and their relative effectiveness. Three meta-analyses have been conducted in this field during the last decade. In 1987 Lösel, Köferl and Weber reviewed 16 sociotherapeutic programmes of German prisons. Afterwards, two different analyses, in 1997 and 1999, by Redondo, Sánchez-Meca and Garrido reviewed, respectively, 57 and 32 European programmes applied during the 80s and the beginning of the 90s. The main results of these reviews are in the direction of those obtained by American reviewers of correctional treatment. On the average, treatment programmes obtained a global effect size of about .10 to .15. However, a new meta-analysis, of 26 European programmes, presented in this paper, has obtained a higher (and in our opinion more precise) estimation of effect size than previous meta-analysis, of r+ = 0.21. In specific terms, the treated groups showed a recidivism rate of 39.5% compared to 60.5% of controls. Some typologies of programmes (especially educational, behavioural and cognitive-behavioural strategies) were more effective than the average.
Definition and Methodology IssuesCognitive ContentCognitive ProcessingCognitive Structures: SchemaSummary and Clinical ImplicationsConcluding CommentsReferences