À l’heure actuelle, de par le caractère multifactoriel du phénomène de violence conjugale, il est encore difficile d’évaluer l’impact des programmes thérapeutiques existants qui offrent un accompagnement pour les auteurs de cette violence. Cinquante-trois hommes, consultant de manière volontaire ou sous contrainte de justice, ont été approchés afin d’évaluer la présence de caractéristiques psychologiques spécifiques (alexithymie, dépression et impulsivité) ainsi que leurs liens, pour constater une éventuelle fragilité qui pourrait expliquer le passage à l’acte violent. Nos analyses révèlent que, comparés à la population générale, l’alexithymie et la dépression sont majorées chez ces hommes. En outre, des corrélations positives et significatives se dessinent entre les trois dimensions psychologiques étudiées. Toutefois, nous n’observons pas de différence en fonction du statut de la demande.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Historically, intimate partner violence has been ignored and minimized, despite its seriousness and widespread prevalence in our culture. In the past three decades, many studies have addressed the question of the impact of intimate partner violence on physical or mental health for victims (spouses, ex-partners and children). But, what about authors? Currently, due to the multifactorial character of the phenomenon of domestic violence, it is still difficult to estimate the impact of the existing therapeutic programs which offer a support for the authors of this violence. The current study sought to examine the association between trait impulsivity, alexithymia and depression and the perpetration of physical and psychological intimate partner violence. We focused on particular psychological characteristics that would seem to have much potential as an aid to understand this phenomenon and its prevention and/or treatment.
Patients and methods
Fifty-three male offenders were surveyed using self-report questionnaires to assess emotional distress (BDI), impulsive behavior (BIS-11) and alexithymia (TAS-20), the inability to experience and express subjective emotions, prior to therapeutic program participation.
Findings indicated that both alexithymia and depression were significantly associated with violence perpetration. Analyses showed that male intimate partner violence offender reported more depressive feelings and more difficulties to express his emotions than did general population. Furthermore, there are positive and significant correlations between alexithymia, impulsivity and depression. Therefore, if male offenders have difficulties to describe and identify their emotions, they will tend to have more depressive symptoms and also more impulsive behavior. However, we do not observe a difference between men who consult voluntarily therapeutic programs and those who have been forced by legal measure of constraint.
The present findings continue to suggest a strong link between alexithymia and domestic violence as showed by others studies. Additional researches are clearly needed and may lead not only to a better understanding of aggression but also to the development of better therapeutic interventions.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Mots clés : Alexithymie, Dépression, Étude de cohorte, Évaluation, Homme, Impulsivité, Passage à l’acte, Violence conjugale
Keywords : Acting out, Affective symptoms, Alexithymia, Cohort study, Depression, Evaluation, Intimate partner violence, Man