SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Jewell, L.M. & Wormith, J.S. (2010). Variables associated with attrition from domestic violence treatment programs targeting male batterers. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 37(10), 1086-1113.

Summary: This article provides a meta-analysis of studies that examine the attrition from domestic violence treatment programs for male batterers. The study examines the extent to which individual, violence-related, and intrapersonal variables and characteristics are related to attrition from a domestic violence treatment program. Utilizing data from 30 studies the author finds numerous characteristics that predict attrition-several of which have predicted recidivism in other studies.

Questions to Consider:

1. Why might the same factors related to recidivism be related to attrition from domestic violence treatment programs?

2. Explain how the theoretical orientation of the program is influential in the treatment program attrition? Why might there be differences, for example, in attrition between programs with a feminist psychoeducational perspective and a cognitive-behavioral perspective?

3. What other, unstudied characteristics might be related to attrition from domestic violence treatment programs?


Article 2: Hilton, N.Z., Harris, G.T., Popham, S. & Lang, C. (2010). Risk assessment among incarcerated male domestic violence offendersCriminal Justice and Behavior, 37(8), 815-832.

Summary: This article examines the use of a risk assessment instrument, the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA). When compared to a general risk assessment instrumental, the ODARA instrument predicted domestic violence recidivism significantly better. Not only did the ODARA instrument predict recidivism better generally, but also the severity and survival, e.g. length of time until recidivism. The authors conclude with suggestions for future research.

Questions to Consider:

1. How can a risk assessment instrument such as ODARA benefit frontline law enforcement agents? Correctional staff?

2. What additional variables, unavailable to the researchers, could be incorporated to improve the ODARA?

3. Why is risk assessment important in the field of domestic violence? How can it be used to improve the safety of victims?


Article 3: Schuster, M.L. & Propen, A. (2010). Degrees of emotion: Judicial responses to victim impact statementsLaw, Culture, and the Humanities6(1), 75-104.

Summary: This article examines the judicial responses and reactions to victim impact statements and emotional expressions in victim impact statements. The authors find that judges react differently based on the emotion expressed. When a victim expresses compassion or grief, the impact statement is met with positively, however when a victim expresses anger, the judicial response is negative. The offense type and victim-offender relationship also shares a relationship with the judicial response to victim impact statements.

Questions to Consider:

1. Why might judges negatively respond to the expression of anger in victim impact statement, viewing them as dishonest and immature?

2. Should the emotion expressed in a victim impact statement play any role in the sentencing of an offender of domestic violence?

3. Why do judges describe their options as limited when asserting their authority in a courtroom, specifically when presiding over cases involving domestic violence?


Article 4: Siegel, J.P. (2013). An expanded approach to batterer intervention programs incorporating neuroscience research. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 14(4), 295-304.

Summary: This article reviews several studies in the intimate partner violence (IPV) literature that have informed the treatment of disorders that are overwhelmingly represented by IPV offenders. Disorders such as substance abuse and addiction, posttraumatic stress disorder, and mood, and anxiety, and personality disorders are discussed in terms of how research can better inform the treatment of batterers. The relationships between childhood trauma, emotional regulation impairment, and intimate partner violence are analyzed with suggestions for programmatic developments subsequently provided.

Questions to Consider:

1. How can batterer intervention programs incorporate neuroscience research into the refinement of their treatment?

2. How might the relationships between childhood trauma and emotional regulation impairment present themselves differently in cases of intimate partner violence compared to cases not involving intimate partners?

3. What institution should be responsible for determining the extent to which various disorders are presented by intimate partner violence perpetrators?


Article 5: Pepin, D., Hoss, A., & Penn, M (2015). Menu of State Batterer Intervention Program LawsAtlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Summary: This report provides an overview of state batterer intervention program (BIP) laws in the United States. The authors provide an overview of various BIP legislation before delineating them by specific mandates. The inventory of state statutes and regulations examines state-by-state description of responsible agency, prevalence of BIPs, responsible legislation (family law vs. criminal law), and program specific descriptions such as length.

Questions to Consider:

1. What barriers might a jurisdiction face to establishing state BIP legislation?

2. What are the benefits and disadvantages to having a criminal justice agency set standards for BIPS? To having other state department set standards?

3. Under what circumstance(s) would BIP treatment be more appropriate in the family law context than in the criminal law?


Article 6: Hamilton, L., Koehler, J.A., & Losel, F. (2013). Domestic violence perpetrator program in Europe, part I: A survey of current practiceInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 57(10), 1189-1205.

Summary: This article examines 54 domestic violence perpetrator programs in 19 countries by focusing on program design, delivery, administration, and infrastructure. Using survey data the authors find that most programs apply one of three perspectives in treatment. However, there is substantial variation in how the programs handle domestic violence perpetrators, variation that the authors explain in the European context.

Questions to Consider:

1. What variations exist in the handling of domestic violence perpetrators? Why might this variation exist?

2. How do domestic violence perpetrator programs differ in Europe and North America, specifically with regard to financial and administrative support provided by the government?

3. In what way(s) can actuarial and clinical assessment be used to tailor programs to participants’ specific profiles of risk and need?


Article 7: Holtrop, K., Scott, J.C., Parra-Cardona, J.R., McNeil Smith, S., Schmittel, E. & Young Larance, L. (2015). Exploring factors that contribute to positive change in a diverse, group-based male batterer intervention program: Using qualitative data to inform implementation and adaptation efforts. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication.

Summary: This article examines the perceptions and experiences of participants of batterer intervention programs (BIP) to understand the precursors and mechanisms of change found therein. Utilizing data from surveys, the authors employed a qualitative approach to the study of male batterers participating in a BIP. The authors find that change is a reciprocal process, in which change in the individual facilitates change in the group and change in the group facilitates change in the individual. Paramount to this change is the role of group facilitators and the provision of access to ongoing support for participants.

Questions to Consider:

1. How can the process of change be reciprocal? Can both effects (group to individual and individual to group) be occurring simultaneously? If so, how?

2. Why is group diversity important to the process of change for male batterers?

3. In what context can group facilitators effect change in a criminal justice system-led BIP versus a community-led BIP? Are differences to be expected? Why or why not?


Article 8: Radatz, D.L. & Wright, E.M. (2015). Integrating the principles of effective intervention into batterer intervention programming: The case for moving toward more evidence-based programming. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. Advance online publication.

Summary: This article introduces the principles of effective intervention (PEI) in the evaluation of batterer intervention programs (BIP). The study continues the discussion of PEI by assessing the degree in which they are currently integrated in batterer intervention programs. The authors suggest that BIP could benefit from increased integration of PEI for correctional rehabilitation.

Questions to Consider:

1. What barriers might be faced by institutions and departments that wish to pursue the integration of PEI into batterer intervention programs?

2. In what way(s) are batter intervention programs in need of improvement? Who is responsible for ensuring that efforts to improve them are undertaken?

3. Explain the how the risk, need, responsivity, fidelity, and treatment principles can be integrated into current BIPs.