There are many ideas about the precise functioning of the human mind when it comes to violence and the committing of violent acts. An especially prevalent idea is that rather than being an intrinsic trait, the propensity for violence is a learned behavior that has complex interactions with the mind as a person works their way through life. While this theory is largely accepted, especially among humanist-leading psychologists and other mental health professionals with a focus on the inherent good of human beings, the complexities of such interactions are often unexplored, leading common sense and best guesses to dictate the causes of violent behavior in many cases. A piece of this puzzle of interactions was recently solved, however, by means of a study published in the journal Personal Relationships.
The study examined occurrences of violent thoughts, feelings, and behaviors among those exposed to domestic violence at an early age, as opposed to those without reports of such activity. The researchers found that people who had experienced violent episodes at a young age were more likely to experience such issues in the future, especially during their own marriages later on in life. The study further noted the ways in which men and women tended to behave in situations of domestic violence, suggesting that while men used violence as a message for women to back off, women in violent households and situations often exhibited the clingy behaviors which were frequently cited as catalyzing violent episodes.
Supporting the effort to create more effective intervention programs and resources for young people in violent environments, the study is a positive step forward for everyone who has suffered within the cold hands of domestic violence.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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