Next Article in Journal
The Relationship between Self-Compassion and Sleep Quality: An Overview of a Seven-Year German Research Program
Next Article in Special Issue
Alexithymia as a Predictor of Arousal and Affect Dysregulations when Batterers with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Cope with Acute Stress
Previous Article in Journal
Random Forest Classification of Alcohol Use Disorder Using EEG Source Functional Connectivity, Neuropsychological Functioning, and Impulsivity Measures
Open AccessArticle

Empathy Mediates the Relations between Working Memory and Perpetration of Intimate Partner Violence and Aggression

Department of Psychology, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10030063
Received: 7 February 2020 / Revised: 28 February 2020 / Accepted: 2 March 2020 / Published: 5 March 2020
Deficits in executive functioning have been associated with aggressive and violent behavior toward intimate partners. However, it is unclear what specific mechanisms are being affected by cognitive deficits that increase an individual’s tendency to become aggressive. The current study examined empathy as a mediating factor between deficits in working memory and perpetration of intimate partner aggression and violence. Men in heterosexual relationships (N = 49) were administered a measure of visual-spatial working memory, and questionnaire measures of head injury and empathy. During a second session, men participated in a conflict discussion with their female partner that was coded for aggressive behavior. Female partners also reported on men’s physical and psychological abuse. Working memory was positively related to cognitive and affective empathy, and negatively related to men’s physical abuse perpetration and observed aggression during the conflict discussion. The effects of working memory on observed aggression during the conflict were fully mediated by cognitive and affective empathy. Additionally, the effects of working memory on reported physical IPV frequency were fully mediated by affective empathy. Deficits in working memory may decrease men’s ability to use empathetic processes, resulting in increased aggression and violence toward their intimate partners. Clinically, incorporating empathy training in battering intervention programs may be helpful, especially among men with deficits in cognitive functioning. View Full-Text
Keywords: executive functioning; working memory; interpersonal violence; empathy executive functioning; working memory; interpersonal violence; empathy
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Godfrey, D.A.; Kehoe, C.M.; Bastardas-Albero, A.; Babcock, J.C. Empathy Mediates the Relations between Working Memory and Perpetration of Intimate Partner Violence and Aggression. Behav. Sci. 2020, 10, 63.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop