Understanding the batterers' perspective through the application of affect control theory
The purpose of this study was to determine if participants in batterers' intervention and prevention programs (BIPPs) experience a change in affect by applying the theoretical framework of affect control theory. The study also examined how participants who attending BIPPs self-identified, in particular if they self-chose a stigmatized identity as a batterer or abusive. Data were collected at two different time points using an instrument designed for this study. At Time 1 participants had attended between zero to nine weeks of BIPP group sessions and at Time 2, participants had attended 18 weeks or more of BIPP group sessions. A total of 43 male BIPP's participants attending the programs at three different locations in the southwest United States participated in the study at Time 1 and Time 2. The study used quantitative and qualitative research methods. The quantitative analysis used affect control theory's INTERACT software program. Participants completed the instrument about their perspectives on intimate partner violence. Participants did not experience a statistically significant change in affect while attending the BIPPs. However, the participants' open-ended responses appeared to illustrate a change in the participants' sentiments towards their partners from Time 1 to Time 2. Participants also appeared to maintain their self-chosen identities from Time 1 to Time 2. Affect control theory's software program, INTERACT, provided mixed results in predicting participants' emotions and behaviors from Time 1 to Time 2. INTERACT was able to predict emotions consistently at Time 1, however at Time 2, INTERACT did not accurately predict emotions. INTERACT also had some trouble in predicting behaviors at both Time 1 and Time 2. Despite the mixed findings using INTERACT, affect control theory did provide the means to measure an affective change among the participants, to measure if they identified with a stigmatized identity, and the means to numerically quantify the results of the qualitative analyses.