Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 201–214 | Cite as

The Role of Perceptions and Attributions in Battered Women's Intentions to Permanently End Their Violent Relationships

  • Karen T. Pape
  • Ileana Arias


The purpose of the current investigation was to examine the mediational role of attributions and emotional reactions to partner violence in the relationship between violence severity and frequency, and women's intentions to leave abusive relationships permanently. The results of separate regression analyses indicated that perceived increases in the frequency and severity of violence over time, but not absolute levels of violence, were significantly related to women's attributions for the violence, the severity of nervousness reported subsequent to a violent episode, and the intention to leave the abusive partner permanently. Attributions of partner causality and responsibility for violence were significantly related to nervous reactions and the intention to leave the abusive partner permanently. As predicted by the attributional model tested, the relationship between perceived increases in violence over time and the intention to leave the abusive partner permanently was completely mediated by the extent to which women explained or attributed the causes of the violence to the partner that were stable and global, and attributed blameworthiness, malicious intent, and selfish motivations to the partner for his use of violence.

wife battering attributions relationship termination 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen T. Pape
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ileana Arias
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of GeorgiaAthens
  2. 2.Atlanta Addictive Disorders and Psychiatric Medicine Associates, Inc.Atlanta
  3. 3.Department of Psychology and the Institute for Behavioral ResearchThe University of GeorgiaAthens

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