Peer Influence on IPV in Adult Males: Investigating the Case for a Social Norms Approach Open Access

McKool, Marissa Ashley (2015)

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This study examines the relationship between the outcome of intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration and exposures of perceiving peer IPV behaviors and peer IPV-supportive attitudes in adult males. Data from 101 male peer dyads (n=202) were taken from a previous study on the affects of alcohol and bystander interventions in Atlanta, Georgia. Nearly 36% of the sample reported physical IPV perpetration in the past 12 months and 67% reported perpetrating sexually coercive behavior. Descriptive analysis was conducted and no associations were found between perception of peer IPV behaviors and self-reported perpetration. Peer attitudes of expecting sex from a female partner were found to be associated with self-report sexual coercion perpetration (X2=9.53; p<.05), suggesting a need to address rape myths in this population. Including data from both a male and his peer, our study was able to examine whether or not the respondent's perception of his peers' IPV perpetration reflected that of one of his peer's self-report of IPV behaviors. Nearly 35% of the sample reported having no peers who had perpetrated physical IPV, while their study peer self-reported physical violence perpetration in the past 12 months, indicating that males underestimate their peer's IPV behaviors. Discordance between respondent's perception and peer self-report was also present for forced sex and sexually coercive behaviors, and all three discordance variables were associated with self-report IPV perpetration. These findings suggest that a social norms approach to IPV prevention, which would seek to correct the misperception of peers' negative behaviors, would not be appropriate among adult males.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction 1

Chapter 2: Literature Review 4

Intimate Partner Violence 4

IPV Outcomes 5

IPV Perpetration 5

Risk Factors 7

Peer Influence on IPV Perpetration 8

Gaps in the Literature 12

Chapter 3: Manuscript 14

Introduction 14 Methods 17

Results 22

Discussion 26

References 31

Appendix A: Tables & Figures 34

Chapter 4: Conclusions and Recommendations 38

References 42

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