The role of insecure attachment and gender role stress in predicting controlling behaviors in men who batter

James R. Mahalik, Etiony Aldarondo, Steven Gilbert-Gokhale, Erika Shore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


The authors hypothesized that masculine gender role stress would mediate the relationship between insecure attachment and controlling behaviors in a sample of men who batter. To examine this hypothesis, 143 men who were court mandated to attend a batterers' intervention program in a northeastern state completed measures including the Controlling Behavior Index, the Gender Role Stress Scale, the Relationship Questionnaire, and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. After controlling statistically for social desirability, results indicated that both fearful attachment and gender role stress significantly predicted controlling behaviors, with gender role stress partially mediating the relationship between fearful attachment and controlling behaviors. The discussion focuses on the importance of understanding partner abuse through a gendered context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-631
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2005



  • Attachment
  • Gender role stress
  • Male batterers
  • Masculinity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology

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