College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Why do men insult their intimate partners?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2007

Keywords

Verbal insults; Mate retention; Intimate partner violence; Violence against women

Publication Title

Personality and Individual Differences

ISSN

0191-8869

Volume

43

Abstract

Men sometimes insult their intimate partners and these insults predict intimate partner violence. No research has investigated the function of men’s partner-directed insults. We hypothesize that men’s partner-directed insults are designed to retain their long-term mate and, therefore, that men’s use of partner-directed insults will covary with other mate retention behaviors. Using the mate retention inventory and the partner-directed insults scale, we conducted two studies to test this hypothesis. Study 1 included 245 men who reported their mate retention behaviors and partner-directed insults. Correlations and multiple regression analyses documented the predicted relationships between men’s partner-directed insults and mate retention behaviors. Study 2 included 372 women who reported their partner’s mate retention behaviors and insults that their partner-directed at them. The results replicated the results of Study 1. Discussion highlights future directions for investigating the relationships between men’s partner-directed insults and mate retention behaviors.

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2006.11.027

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