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Donald G. Dutton & Mark Bodnarchuk

In: Current Controversies on Family Violence

Chapter 1: Through a Psychological Lens: Personality Disorder and Spouse Assault

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Through a Psychological Lens: Personality Disorder and Spouse Assault
Through a psychological lens: Personality disorder and spouse assault
Donald G.Dutton and MarkBodnarchuk

Recognition by researchers of the importance of personality disorder (PD) as a causative factor in spouse assault has been delayed largely because PD falls outside the major paradigms created by broad spectrum theories that are currently in vogue. Dutton (1994, 1995) surveyed the main explanations, particularly feminist and sociobiological approaches, put forward to account for wife assault when the issue achieved prominence in the 1970s. Dutton (1994) pointed out that “broad spectrum” explanations like sociobiology and feminism had difficulty explaining the skewed distribution of spouse assault incidence—that is, that the majority (about 80 percent) of males are nonviolent, another 12 percent are violent once, and ...

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