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The Abusive Personality, Second Edition: Violence and Control in Intimate Relationships [Paperback]

Donald G. Dutton

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Book Description

Dec 18 2007 1593857179 978-1593857172 Second Edition

This influential book provides an innovative framework for understanding and treating intimate partner violence. Integrating a variety of theoretical and empirical perspectives, Donald G. Dutton demonstrates that male abusiveness is more than just a learned pattern of behavior--it is the outgrowth of a particular personality configuration. He illuminates the development of the abusive personality from early childhood to adulthood and presents an evidence-based treatment approach designed to meet this population's unique needs. The second edition features two new chapters on the neurobiological roots of abusive behavior and the development of abusiveness in females.

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"Outstanding. Based on over 20 years of empirical literature and clinical experience, this second edition is a 'must read' for mental health professionals and researchers. Dutton goes beyond social stereotypes and superficial explanations to compassionately and eloquently describe the complex relationship among biological, developmental, psychological, and social factors contributing to the development of the abusive personality. With a solid foundation in the etiology of violent behavior, readers also learn about Dutton's highly effective perpetrator intervention program. The book will be accessible both to seasoned clinicians and to students, interns, and newly licensed professionals. What is most exciting and unique about this second edition is its incorporation of the most recent findings on neurobiology and attachment theory into a comprehensive theory of the development and treatment of the abusive personality."--Daniel J. Sonkin, PhD, private practice, Sausalito, California

"What sets this book apart from others is that Dutton goes to the core of partner violence by addressing individual psychopathology. He convincingly argues that abusive men have significant personality problems with origins in their early development, and he uses object relations and attachment theory to provide excellent clinical descriptions of how an individual becomes an abuser. This is important reading for any clinician or researcher interested in the psychology of battering."--K. Daniel O'Leary, PhD, Stony Brook University

"Dutton's formulations are the product of a first-rate scientific mind informed by decades of empirical research. He brings scientific rigor and intellectual clarity to his writing, which is both scholarly and compelling. With this second edition, Dutton solidifies his position as one of the world's most eminent domestic violence researchers."--Reid Meloy, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego
"Dr. Dutton's outstanding work traces 20 years of empirical history examining partner violence from childhood to adulthood and then presents practical programs to meet the needs of patients suffering from abusive personality disorders. This book will not only appeal to the scholarly scientific mind of a well-seasoned therapist but will inform students just beginning in the field. The second edition has incorporated recent findings in neurobiology and developmental theory, which has been updated to include chapters on trauma research and abuse in females. I highly recommend it for any practitioner working with abusive personality disorders."--Muriel Prince Warren, DSW, ACSW, private practice, Orangeburg, New York

About the Author

Donald G. Dutton, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. In 1979 he cofounded the Assaultive Husbands Project, a court-mandated treatment program for men convicted of spousal assault. Dr. Dutton has published over 100 papers and four books, including Domestic Assault of Women; The Batterer: A Psychological Profile, which has been translated into French, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, and Polish; and Rethinking Domestic Violence. He has frequently served as an expert witness in civil trials involving intimate abuse and in criminal trials involving family violence.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, but may be too technical for some readers. Oct. 6 2009
By E. Stapel - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This text goes into greater depth and covers issues more technically than does the similar volume, titled "The Batterer: A Psychological Profile", by the same author. The content of "The Abusive Personality" is much the same, but "The Batterer" is written for non-professionals. If one is a mental-health, social-work, or other type of professional, or if one enjoys studying materials aimed at such, this is a very informative read. The general reader, though, would probably gain more from reading "The Batterer".
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, especially if you are going through a custody evaluation. March 3 2009
By Laurie Richards - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is great for an upper-level research, not an easy-reader if you haven't completed quite a bit of research on the subject. But...if you read this book, it has so much information in it that will spare you time reading other books on what the mind-set is behind the abuse, cycle of abuse, learning of the abuse. This book has many of the questions used in custody evaluation by custody evaluators. Professions could benefit from the vast amount of information and years of research provided by Mr. Dutton.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for any mental health professional March 25 2012
By A. Shapiro - Published on
I have never yet written a book review but was so impressed by the quality of this work that felt the need to share just what a must-read this book is. The author takes the reader into an ever deeper journey of understanding the mindset and personality of abusers. He brilliantly synthesizes the works of Melanie Klein, Margaret Mahler and John Bowlby to provide a detailed understanding of how abusive people think and feel, what their triggers are, and most impressively, the origins of their volatile emotions. I think that some prior psychiatric or psychology background is very helpful in understanding and processing this book, though I wouldn't say it's a must. Overall, this is a brilliant contribution to the mental health field and is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand people (not just abusers) better.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good reference June 14 2010
By Allison C. Burnell - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I ordered this book after having been in an abusive relationship with an eye toward understanding the person I had been dealing with. After receiving it, it does seem more that it is not as geared toward the "lay person" as it could be. I think it would be a good reference for psychologists or psychiatrists dealing with this type of personality, but found it a bit technical for my taste.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for the mental health professional Sept. 27 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
This is a superb work of scholarship, but it is clearly intended for a professional audience, and not for the average reader. Know that you can click on the button under "Kindle Edition" to "Read [the] first chapter free," and you don't have to own a Kindle. The chapter will load on your computer screen. Then you can decide for yourself.
Just from reading the preface and first chapter, I found the book depends on knowledge of the following subject matter: operant conditioning, social learning theory, attachment theory and John Bowlby's work, psychodynamic object relations theory and developmental psychology, research design, factor analysis, multivariate modeling and path analysis. I have probably left out a few other subjects, but you get the idea.

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