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Childhood Sexual Abuse, Dyadic Empathy, and Intimate Partner Violence Among Men Seeking Psychological Help

Published onJan 29, 2022
Childhood Sexual Abuse, Dyadic Empathy, and Intimate Partner Violence Among Men Seeking Psychological Help
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Childhood Sexual Abuse, Dyadic Empathy, and Intimate Partner Violence Among Men Seeking Psychological Help
Description

Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and intimate partner violence (IPV) have both been associated with numerous negative repercussions. The first aim of this study is to understand IPV perpetrated by men within a clinical population, by examining the effects of two potential predictors: CSA and dyadic empathy (cognitive and emotional). The second aim of this study is to explore whether dyadic empathy is an intermediary variable of the association between CSA and IPV. A sample of 198 men (aged 18–69 years old) who were seeking help for relationship problems, completed a set of self-administered questionnaires. While controlling for social desirability and family violence history, our findings outlined the mediating and moderating role of dyadic empathy in the link between CSA and perpetrated psychological, but not physical, IPV. Emotional empathy mediated and moderated the link between CSA and psychological IPV, whereas cognitive empathy only moderated this link. The examination of the direct links between the variables also revealed that CSA was related to lower emotional empathy and higher rates of both types of IPV. In addition, cognitive empathy was negatively associated with physical and psychological IPV, whereas emotional empathy was positively associated with psychological IPV. This study contributes to the literature by documenting some of the mechanisms that could explain the perpetration of IPV and highlights the importance of investigating CSA and empathy in men who are seeking help.

 

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