University Professor Focuses Treatment for Intimate Partner Violence on the Batterer

Julia C. Babcock, an associate professor of psychology and co-director of the Center for Couple Therapy at the University of Houston, is taking a nonconventional approach to the study of domestic violence.

“There is a lot of research that studies the victim of intimate partner violence, but not the perpetrator,” says Babcock. “Since most domestic violence occurs in the context of an argument, the experiment I conducted evaluated whether I could change how the communication goes during an argument with the batterer and his partner. The findings indicated the batterers could learn communications skills and when they applied them in an argument with their female partners, the argument improved and the participants felt better about the argument and more understood.”

Babcock says that most batterer intervention programs are ineffective. But, Babcok’s research found that “batterers could learn these communication skills and when they applied them in arguments with their female partner, it decreased aggressive attacks on the female partner.”

Dr. Babcok’s research was published in the Psychology of Violence Journal. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Washington.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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