The purpose of the study was to improve the prediction of continued and escalating violence among men sentenced to domestic violence intervention programs.
The evaluation was the result of two consecutive research grants from the Centers of Disease Control. Under the initial grant trained research assistants administered background questionnaires to approximately 220 men consecutively recruited from a batterer invention program in each of the four research sites (Denver, Colorado, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Dallas and Houston, Texas) in 1995 (Dataset 1: Men and Women Background and 3 to 15 Month Follow-Up Data, 4,522 variables, and 861 cases). The men's partners were interviewed by phone within 2 weeks of the man's program intake. The men and their female partners were called separately every three months for a fifteen month follow-up period and interviewed about their relationship status, the men's behavior toward their partner, the men's alcohol and drug use, and other treatment and assistance that the men or their partners may have received. Women who did not have phones or who could not be reached were sent a letter requesting they call a toll-free number. Respondents were paid between ten and twenty dollars for each completed interview.
A check up interview was completed approximately 24 months after program intake with fewer questions (Dataset 2: Men and Women 24 Month Check Up Data, 466 variables, 768 cases).
The follow-up interviews at 3 month intervals from 30 months to 48 months after the program intake (Dataset 3: Women 30 to 48 Month Follow-Up Data, 7756 variables, 861 cases, and Dataset 4: Men 30 to 48 Month Follow-Up Data, 2663 variables, 626 cases).
Arrest records for the four year follow-up period were collected (Dataset 5: Assaults and Arrest 0 Through 48 Months Data, 92 variables, 861 cases and Dataset 6: Assaults for 0 Through 48 Months with Background Data, 788 variables, 861 cases). Finally, the clinical records for the men that included program attendance and a clinical rating form were collected (Dataset 7: Clinical Rating Data, 46 variables, 718 variables).
The first 20 to 25 men appearing for program intake each month were recruited into the sample, until approximately 210 had been recruited at each of the four research sites (n=840). The vast majority of the men (82 percent) were mandated to the programs by the courts, as opposed to others who entered the programs voluntarily (18 percent). The men's partners were interviewed by phone within two weeks of the man's program intake. Women respondents were contacted for 82 percent of the men (n=688) at program intake. In the extended follow-up from 16 months to 48 months, the sample of 840 men was reduced to 618 men by dropping the 'voluntary' cases and subjects recruited in the first three months of the study.
Longitudinal: Panel: Interval
All male batterers who participated in batterer treatment programs in Denver, Colorado, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Dallas and Houston, Texas, in 1995 and all of their female partners.
administrative records data
Datasets 1 through 4 include similar background and follow-up variables. The initial intake interviews with men included questions about the incident that led to the batterer program referral, a series of open-ended questions, followed by the CTS for physical aggression, an alcohol screening test, personality inventory, demographics, living situation, parent's behavior, mental health problems, alcohol use, prior treatment and counseling, abusive behavior, previous arrests, partner's response, and partner's help-seeking. The women's initial interview verified the men's reports of abuse, alcohol abuse, mental health symptoms, pervious violence, the women's response to the abuse, their help-seeking, their own alcohol and drug use, and other assistance or treatment the women may have received. All follow-up interviews asked about their relationship status, the men's behavior towards their partner, the men's alcohol and drug use, and other treatment and assistance that the men or their partners may have received.
Datasets 5 and 6 include re-assault and arrest variables for each of the follow-up intervals, recoded variables for full cumulative follow-up and recoded variables for other time periods. Dataset 6 also includes recodes for all time periods merged with the background variables for men and women. Dataset 7 includes the responses to the ten items on the clinical discharge rating form completed by batterer program group leaders at the completion of the required program sessions, along with attendance information.
For the men, the refusal rate was less than 5 percent at each of the four research sites. A female partner was interviewed for 79 percent (n=662) of the batterers at least once during the 15 month follow-up and researchers were able to account for 68 percent of the sample of for the full 15 month follow-up. A response rate of 67 percent was compiled for the female partners of these men for the full 30 month follow-up period, and of 58 percent for the partners for the full 48 month period.
Several Likert-type scales were used, along with the following:
- The Millon Clinical Multaxial Inventory, Version III, (MCMI-III; Millon, 1994);
- CTS scale for physical aggression (Strauss, 1979);
- The Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST; Selzer, 1971).