The cognitive correlates of anger arousal and dating violence were investigated in samples of 17 males who reported at least one incident of physical aggression toward a female dating partner (DV), and 16 males who reported a nonviolent interaction history with their dating partners (NV). Participants performed the Articulated Thoughts during Simulated Situations (ATSS) paradigm while listening to anger-arousing audiotapes. Trained raters coded participants' thought articulations for irrational beliefs, cognitive biases, hostile attributional biases, and anger control statements. Results indicated that DV men articulated significantly more irrational thoughts and cognitive biases, but fewer anger control statements, than NV men during ATSS anger arousal. Logistic regression analyses indicated that specific ATSS cognitive variables (high Arbitrary Inference, high Demandingness, low Anger Control) discriminated between the groups. However, fewer violent–nonviolent differences were observed on paper-and-pencil measures of cognitive distortion. These data suggest that assessment of cognitive processing among violent individuals may be optimized if these cognitions are assessed during concurrent anger arousal. The findings are interpreted in the context of social learning and social information processing theories of partner violence.
Cognitive Therapy and Research – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 10, 2004
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