Personality and behavioral characteristics as predictors of typologies of men who batter their female intimate partners

Sheila Hughes Chiffriller, Fordham University


The purpose of the study was to replicate and extend previous research and correct for limitations of previous studies by including a large, diverse, more representative sample, nonviolent controls, and validated instruments to measure several dimensions hypothesized to be related to domestic violence in order to generate a typology of batterers if one exists. Given the inconsistencies in the previous literature, this study tested the null hypothesis: There would be no discernable clusters of batterers' characteristics that would suggest a typology. The study included both clinical and control samples. The clinical sample consisted of 201 men who battered women and were receiving services from domestic violence programs. The final nonviolent control sample consisted of 96 participants recruited from the community. The 14 men in the original nonviolent control sample who identified themselves as batterers were removed from the control sample and comprised a second comparison group, the CTS2-identified batterer sample. Each participant was given a demographic questionnaire, the Basic Personality Inventory, Relationship Scale Questionnaire, revised Conflict Tactics Scale, Multidimensional Jealousy Scale, and Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test. Cluster analysis was chosen as the data analysis method in order to allow batterers to be classified based on the similarity of their behavioral and personality profiles. Post hoc analyses were computed to assess significant differences, first between the clusters, and later between the clusters and 2 comparison samples, in terms of cluster determining as well as demographic variables. A 5-cluster solution was determined to be most meaningful. Three subtypes (i.e., the pathological, generally violent, and family-only batterers) found in the present study were similar in some respects to subtypes in previously presented models (Hamberger et al., 1996; Saunders, 1992). However, each subtype differed from its counterpart on a number of dimensions, including degree of alcoholism, attachment style, and form and severity of violence. The discovery of the 2 additional subtypes (i.e., sexually and psychologically violent), in combination with differences in the initial 3 subtypes than in the previous literature, suggests that the heterogeneous nature of the batterers is more extensive than previously understood. Recommendations for future research were addressed.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Chiffriller, Sheila Hughes, "Personality and behavioral characteristics as predictors of typologies of men who batter their female intimate partners" (2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3056134.