Emotions-Based Intervention Found More Effective In Preventing Domestic Violence

Jul 7, 2017

New research from Iowa State University finds that men convicted of domestic violence are nearly 50 percent less likely to reoffend if they participate in an intervention that emphasizes emotional awareness.

Men convicted of domestic violence are often required to participate in a program that teaches their violence is the result of a desire to control women. It aims to stop violence by changing the way men think.

Iowa State clinical psychologist Amie Zarling says the program she’s developed instead focuses on helping men recognize and deal with their emotions. Those who complete her program are 3.6 percent likely to reoffend, compared to a rate of 7 percent for those who complete the traditional program.

"We try to generate some of those uncomfortable emotions in group and help them through responding to them in a different way, to make it that much more likely they will respond differently when they are out in the world," she says. 

Zarling’s study was published in the journal of “Psychology of Violence.”