Masculine Discrepancy Stress, Emotion-Regulation Difficulties, and Intimate Partner Violence.


University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA [Email]


Research suggests that masculine socialization processes contribute to the perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) by men. Although this research has traditionally focused on men who strongly adhere to traditional gender norms, men who negatively evaluate themselves as falling short of these norms (a construct termed masculine discrepancy stress) have proven to be at increased risk of IPV perpetration. Likewise, men experiencing problems with emotion regulation, a multidimensional construct reflecting difficulties in effectively experiencing and responding to emotional states, are also at risk of IPV perpetration. In the present research, we tested the hypothesis that the link between discrepancy stress and IPV perpetration is mediated via difficulties in emotion regulation. Three hundred fifty-seven men completed online surveys assessing their experience of discrepancy stress, emotion-regulation difficulties, and history of IPV perpetration. Results indicated that discrepancy-stressed men's use of physical IPV was fully mediated by emotion-regulation difficulties. In addition, emotion-regulation difficulties partially mediated the association between discrepancy stress and sexual IPV. Findings are discussed in terms of the potential utility of emotion-focused interventions for modifying men's experience and expression of discrepancy stress and reducing perpetration of IPV.


emotion regulation,intimate partner violence,masculine discrepancy stress,multiple mediation,