Studies of gender-based violence among male perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV) have yielded conflicting findings regarding the direct effect of exposure to traumatic events. However, gender role conflict (GRC) theory may help clarify these findings. That is, socialization to traditional norms may cause men distress—the experience of which does not align with male social standards—potentially leading to further gender role conflict, specifically restricted emotionality (GRC-RE), which in turn promotes IPV. As such, studying these associations among men who perpetrate IPV due to their own childhood trauma exposure and the oft-resultant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be highly relevant. Thus, we examined the possible indirect effect of PTSD and GRC-RE in the association of traumatic event exposure and IPV severity committed by men. Participants were 234 men drawn randomly from a national sample of 1,600 mandated men receiving treatment for domestic violence in Israel. They completed the Conflict Tactics Scale, Life Events Checklist questionnaire, International Trauma Questionnaire, and Gender Role Conflict Scale–Short Form. Structural equation modeling findings revealed that the association between physical childhood neglect and psychological IPV was via indirect effect of PTSD and then of GRC–RE. In addition, life span traumatic events were associated indirectly with psychological IPV through their linkage with PTSD and then GRC-RE. These findings broaden our understanding of the gender-based violence perspective on male-perpetrated IPV, by traumatized men, by revealing the specific nature of the gender role conflict among these men and its related avoidance response. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved) Public Significance Statement—In recent years, there has been a growing effort to understand men’s violence against their female partners as an effect of the trauma to which these men were once exposed. The current study’s results contribute to this effort by raising the possibility that the feelings of helplessness and distress experienced as a result of trauma exposure may create conflicted masculinity; avoidance of these feelings manifests itself in a gender conflict that may determine the severity of intimate partner violence. These results suggest that promoting more gender sensitive intervention would help prevent IPV among such men.
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© 2020 American Psychological Association
- gender role conflict
- gender-based violence