Narcissism and Type of Violent Relationships for Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence
The study proposed to distinguish differences in perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence (i.e., Common Couple Violence and Patriarchal Terrorism) due to the mediating effect of their presentations of narcissism (covert and overt). Distinguishing perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence by their narcissistic presentations should assist clinicians in batterer treatment programs to create specific lessons/interventions for perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence based on their narcissistic quality. The study of a cross-section of men in a Batterer Intervention Program included measures on self-perception, views of partner, and history of violent, aggressive, controlling, and psychologically abusive interactions with their partner. Structural Equation Modeling with Analysis of Moment Structures was used to determine the structure and function of narcissism and interpersonal violence. Intimate Partner Violence was distinguishable as Common Couple Violence or Patriarchal Terrorism, but the results were not sufficiently conclusive to warrant an absolute classification system. Overt Narcissism was somewhat useful in distinguishing Patriarchal Terrorism from Common Couple Violence by mediating the effects of violent behaviors, controlling behaviors, and psychological abuse when mediated by type of narcissism. That information is useful for clinicians interested in creating targeted interventions to participants in Batterer Intervention Programs to reduce Intimate Partner Violence and violent recidivism. Specifically, Common Couple Violence was described by the number of times the participant physically injured the partner over the past year, the total number of conflict tactics used, and whether their partner needed medical attention following physical injury. Patriarchal Terrorism was described by psychological abuse and controlling behaviors. Overt Narcissism increased Patriarchal Terrorism, whereas, Covert Narcissism did not assist in distinguishing Common Couple Violence from Patriarchal Terrorism. The mediating effect that Covert Narcissism had on violent behaviors, controlling behaviors, and psychological abuse was weak. Overt Narcissism is a more useful construct when identifying potential Patriarchal Terrorists, while Covert Narcissism was not found to provide additional detail to either Patriarchal Terrorism or Common Couple Violence. Knowing the differing and similar impacts of those constructs can potentially grant greater clinical effectiveness with perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence.
Rinker, Lee (2009). Narcissism and Type of Violent Relationships for Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from