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J Interpers Violence. 2006 Nov;21(11):1417-39.

Cognitive-affective predictors of women's readiness to end domestic violence relationships.

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  • 1University of Utah, USA.


A model of women's readiness to terminate an abusive relationship was examined, using cognitive and emotional factors to predict readiness to change as conceptualized in the transtheoretical model. Factors previously identified in the domestic violence literature were selected to represent cognitive predictors (attribution and attachment style) and affective predictors (depression, hopelessness, anxiety, and anger) of readiness to end a domestic violence relationship. Responses by 85 female victims of intimate partner violence indicated that their overall readiness to terminate a relationship was predicted by a preoccupied attachment style and high emotional arousal. However, women's low level of anger predicted their precontemplation of change, the earliest stage of readiness, whereas internalizing emotional difficulties and preoccupation with their batterer predicted maintenance, the final stage of readiness to persist in their decision to leave their abuser. Implications of these findings for working with women considering leaving their partner are discussed.

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