First Advisor

Eric S. Mankowski

Term of Graduation

Spring 2022

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Applied Psychology







Physical Description

1 online resource (x, 103 pages)


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is considered to be a pervasive and devastating social issue and is disproportionately perpetrated by men (CDC, 2017). Masculinity ideologies, which are comprised of male role norm expectations, inform boys and men about what it means to be and to not be "a man" and have been established as a predictive factor of men's IPV perpetration (Levant, 1996; Levant, 2011; David & Brannon, 1976). These ideologies serve to maintain existing social hierarchies that entitle men to seek socially dominant and powerful positions in society, as well as within their intimate relationships (Connell & Messerschmidt, 2005; Jewkes, Levin, & Penn-Kekana, 2002). Further, masculinity is considered to be unstable, subject to threat, and in need of defense, often through physical violence. The unstable nature of masculinity has not been thoroughly studied as a predictive factor in men's IPV perpetration. In this dissertation, a mediational analysis, where the relationship between precarious manhood beliefs (PMB), masculine gender role stress (MGRSS), masculinity ideology adherence, and the frequency of IPV perpetration and coercive controlling behaviors are examined in a sample of men with a history of abuse, who are currently enrolled in area batterer intervention programs (BIPs). Further, the variable of men's desire for additional relationship power is examined as a mediating mechanism through which both PMB and MGRSS lead to IPV perpetration and coercive controlling behaviors. Findings reveal that PMB and masculinity ideologies are significantly predictive of men's frequency of IPV perpetration and coercive controlling behaviors. Further, desire for additional relationship power (DARP) is found to fully mediate the relationship between masculinity ideologies and the frequency of IPV perpetration and coercive controlling behaviors. Implications of the present research include applying the findings of the present study toward informing the inclusion of masculinity ideologies within BIP curricula and expanding theoretical knowledge surrounding the roles of masculinity instability, masculinity ideologies, and relationship power as they predict IPV perpetration among men with a history of violence.


© 2002 Emma Christine Marioles O’Connor

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