Self-determination theory and intimate partner violence (IPV): Assessment of relationship causality orientations as predictors of IPV perpetration.

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Lindsey M. Rodriguez

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Much research examines potential antecedents of intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration. The current manuscript suggests that motivation orientations, as conceptualized by self-determination theory, may be a useful framework for understanding why some people engage in reactive IPV perpetration. Studies 1a (N=572) and 1b (N=265) developed, based on self-determination theory, the Relationship Causality Orientation Scale (RCOS), assessing autonomous, controlled, and impersonal motivation orientations toward romantic relationships. Studies 2 (N=324) and 3 (N=274) examined associations between the RCOS and different operationalizations of IPV. In Study 2, results showed that autonomous orientation predicted lower, and controlled orientation predicted higher, likelihood of IPV perpetration. Study 3 experimentally primed partner transgression and employed a voodoo doll task. Results showed that autonomous orientation predicted less IPV perpetration, and inserting fewer pins into the voodoo doll, while controlled orientation predicted more IPV perpetration and inserting more pins into the voodoo doll.


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.