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The Abusive Personality : Violence and Control in Intimate Relationships, Second Edition
Donald G. Dutton, PhD
Guilford Press / Softcover / 2008-01-01 / 1593857179
Violence / Couple & Family Studies
reg price: $51.50 our price: $ 46.35 (may be subject to change)
262 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 7-10 business days

This influential book provides an innovative framework for understanding and treating intimate partner violence. Integrating a variety of theoretical and empirical perspectives, Donald G. Dutton demonstrates that male abusiveness is more than just a learned pattern of behavior—it is the outgrowth of a particular personality configuration. He illuminates the development of the abusive personality from early childhood to adulthood and presents an evidence-based treatment approach designed to meet this population's unique needs. The second edition features two new chapters on the neurobiological roots of abusive behavior and the development of abusiveness in females.

--- from the publisher
Critical Acclaim:

"A 'must read.'...Dutton goes beyond social stereotypes and superficial explanations to compassionately and eloquently describe the complex relationship among biological, developmental, psychological, and social factors contributing to the development of the abusive personality. With a solid foundation in the etiology of violent behavior, readers also learn about Dutton's highly effective perpetrator intervention program."—Daniel J. Sonkin, PhD, private practice, Sausalito, California

"Dutton's formulations are the product of a first-rate scientific mind informed by decades of empirical research. He brings scientific rigor and intellectual clarity to his writing, which is both scholarly and compelling. With this second edition, Dutton solidifies his position as one of the world's most eminent domestic violence researchers."
Reid Meloy, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego

"What sets this book apart from others is that Dutton goes to the core of partner violence by addressing individual psychopathology. He convincingly argues that abusive men have significant personality problems with origins in their early development, and he uses object relations and attachment theory to provide excellent clinical descriptions of how an individual becomes an abuser. This is important reading for any clinician or researcher interested in the psychology of battering."
K. Daniel O'Leary, PhD, Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University

"I've been using this text for several years in my course on theories of domestic violence. I especially like it because I find Dutton's view of early attachment difficulties as the core cause of later partner abuse to be right on the mark."
Davina M. Brown, PhD, Department of Psychology, Franklin Pierce University


1. Introduction
2. Early Explanations
3. Learning of Abusiveness
4. The Psychology of the Cycle of Violence
5. The Structure of the Abusive Personality: The Data
6. The Primitive Origins of Rage
7. An Anger Born of Fear: Attachment Rage
8. The Sociopsychoneurobiology of Attachment
9. The Early Antecedents Studies
10. Longitudinal Development and Female Abusive Personalities
11. The Treatment of Assaultiveness

About the Author:

Donald G. Dutton, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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