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Resistance Among Domestic Violence Offenders: Measurement Development and Initial Validation

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 14 Issue: 2 Dated: February 2008 Pages: 158-184
Date Published
February 2008
27 pages

Against the background of the well-documented resistance of batterers to traditional intervention programs, the current study developed a measure of the processes of this resistance and administered it to 346 adult male domestic-violence offenders who were in treatment in Florida (n=130), Rhode Island (n=29), Georgia (n=66), and California (n=121).


The preliminary data from the administration of the new tool for measuring resistance to treatment among domestic-violence offenders found that it identified forms of resistance that may be more emotionally and internally based, making them more difficult to detect. The tool was useful in identifying passive resistance, a feature of passive-aggressive personality disorder that tends to co-occur with other features of the disorder, e.g., unreasonable criticism and scorn of authority and exaggerated and persistent complaints of personal misfortune. A kind of quiet, passive resistance can also occur in the absence of more overtly aggressive behavior. Such clients are often prompt and dependable in keeping treatment appointments, but are not emotionally or behaviorally responsive to treatment components. The final version of the draft processes-of-resistance measure contained 88 items (8 per resistance dimension) selected on the basis of clarity of expression, lack of redundancy with other items, and the degree to which they represented their resistance dimension as defined. The 346 domestic-violence offenders were administered the draft processes-of-resistance measure as part of an 80-item paper-and-pencil survey that took approximately 60 minutes to complete. Resistance items were placed in random order in the measures; in 50 percent of surveys, resistance items were placed in reverse order within the measure. Respondents were asked how often they had experienced specified thoughts and feelings in the last month, with choices of frequency offered. 6 tables, 1 figure, and 70 references

Date Published: February 1, 2008