A theoretical batterer typology within Adler's model of personality development

Jennice Shereen Vilhauer, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to examine whether the 3 battering subtypes established by Holtzworth-Munroe and Stuart in their 1994 battering typology could be differentiated by early socialization patterns/lifestyle themes of Alfred Adler's developmental personality theory. Viewing their typology within Adler's model of personality development provides a missing link between risk factors and actual behavior, by providing a theoretical explanation for what motivates behavior, and allows for a comparative examination between types of batterers on their developed lifestyle themes. The study tested the null-hypothesis which stated that batterer subtypes would not have different response profiles for early socialization factors. ^ The study included 137 men who were court referred for domestic violence treatment. Each participant was given the following measures: a demographic questionnaire, Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III), Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS), Generality of Violence Scale (GVS), Basic Adlerian Scales of Interpersonal Success (BASIS-A), Conflict Tactics Scale: Parent-Child Adult Recall, and the Conflict Tactics Scale: Relationship Between My Parents. ^ In order to establish group membership of the participants, a cluster analysis was conducted using the CTS; subscales of the MCMI-III; and the GVS. Each of these measures independently assessed 1 of 3 descriptive dimensions including severity/frequency of violence, generality of violence, and psychopathology, across which each of the subtypes was believed to differ. A 3-cluster solution was determined to be most meaningful. The clusters were labeled based on their descriptive characteristics as the high pathology group, the antisocial group, and the low pathology/violence group. ^ Three discriminant function analyses were then conducted with the 3 clusters as the criterion variables and 12 predictor variables, which consisted of scores from 5 major and 5 minor subscales of the BASIS-A, and separate scores for Witnessing and Experiencing Violence. The results of the discriminant function analyses revealed that patterns of early childhood socialization/lifestyle themes did differ between battering subtypes on dimensions of aggression, social desirability, interpersonal stability, and total experienced within-family violence. Thus, the development of the Holtzworth-Munroe and Stuart battering subtypes can be viewed from within Adler's model of personality development. Implications for treatment possibilities and recommendations for future research were addressed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Vilhauer, Jennice Shereen, "A theoretical batterer typology within Adler's model of personality development" (2003). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3084917.