Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 295–302 | Cite as

Decoding Deficits of Different Types of Batterers During Presentation of Facial Affect Slides

  • Julia C. BabcockEmail author
  • Charles E. Green
  • Sarah A. Webb
Original article


The ability to decode emotional cues is associated with both personality disorders and violence. This study investigated whether subtypes of intimate partner abusers differ in their ability to label facial affect displays. Intimate partner violent (IPV; n = 69) and nonviolent (NV; n = 32) men were asked to label slides of facial affect. Cluster analyses classified the IPV men into three different types as per the Holtzworth-Munroe and Stuart (1994; Typologies of male batterers: three subtypes and the differences among them. Psychological Bulletin, 116, 476–497) typology: family-only (FO), borderline or dysphoric (BD), and generally violent or antisocial (GVA). Overall, IPV men did not make more errors decoding facial affect slides than did NV men. However, GVA batterers showed deficits while BD batterers were particularly accurate in identifying emotions. Clinical implications are that emotional recognition skills training techniques may be useful for GVA batterers only.


Marital violence Intimate partner violence Borderline personality Psychopathy Facial effect recognition deficits 



This project was funded by the University of Houston.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia C. Babcock
    • 1
    Email author
  • Charles E. Green
    • 2
  • Sarah A. Webb
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA
  2. 2.University of Texas-Houston Medical SchoolHoustonUSA
  3. 3.The Menninger ClinicHoustonUSA

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