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Theory-derived Explanations of Male Violence Against Female Partners

Literature Update and Related Implications for Treatment and Evaluation

Funded by Correctional Service of Canada, this 81-page 1998 document reviews the literature on male battering with special emphasis on studies released since 1994. Five types of theories are reviewed: biological/organic, psychopathology, family systems, social learning, and feminist. For each, the empirical support, limitations and implications for treatment are highlighted. While the literature is plentiful, the field is still developing and many questions remain unanswered. The feminist-informed interventions are most common and demonstrate the most promise. With the emergence of more experimental studies, we should soon have a better idea of what programs are effective for whom. Some evaluation strategies are discussed. An eight-page executive summary is included.

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