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Open AccessArticle

Could Alcohol Abuse Drive Intimate Partner Violence Perpetrators’ Psychophysiological Response to Acute Stress?

1
Department of Psychobiology, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
2
Department of Social Psychology, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2729; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122729
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 28 November 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
Proactively aggressive individuals have been shown to present a different pattern of autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysregulation from that of individuals characterized by reactive violence. Although attempts have been made to classify intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetrators based on ANS reactivity to acute stress, subsequent studies have failed to replicate this classification. Notably, the proposed classification neglected the role of chronic alcohol abuse in ANS dysregulation and the fact that this dysregulation entails an abnormal stress response. The aim of the present study was to analyze the response profile (psychological state and ANS response) of groups of IPV perpetrators with high (n = 27) and low (n = 33)-risk alcohol use to an acute stressor, compared to controls (n = 35). All IPV perpetrators scored higher on executive dysfunctions and impulsivity and showed larger decreases in positive affect, less satisfaction, and a higher external locus of control after the stressor than controls. IPV perpetrators with low-risk alcohol use had higher skin conductance levels and breathing reactivity than controls, especially during preparatory, task, and recovery periods. This information could help to develop methods for increasing batterers’ behavioral self-regulation, thus decreasing IPV recidivism risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: acute stress; cardiorespiratory variables; impulsivity; intimate partner violence; skin conductance; autonomic nervous system acute stress; cardiorespiratory variables; impulsivity; intimate partner violence; skin conductance; autonomic nervous system
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Vitoria-Estruch, S.; Romero-Martínez, Á.; Lila, M.; Moya-Albiol, L. Could Alcohol Abuse Drive Intimate Partner Violence Perpetrators’ Psychophysiological Response to Acute Stress? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2729.

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