Predictors of attrition in a treatment program for battering men

Dana D. DeHart, Robert J. Kennerly, Leslie K. Burke, Diane R. Follingstad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


This study examines factors associated with the high attrition rate in treatment programs for men who batter. In accord with past research, we expected demographic variables of age, race, employment status, relationship status, and socioeconomic status to predict attrition. We also hypothesized that attitudinal and personality variables, as well as contextual/program variables, might account for attrition more parsimoniously. Specifically, we hypothesized that attrition would be predicted by frequency and severity of violence, denial of a problem with violence, rigidity of thinking, low levels of self-disclosure, and higher anxiety and constriction in social situations. In addition, we predicted attrition would relate to dependency, maladaptive personality styles, and expectations regarding group counseling (e.g., whether treatment is perceived as aversive). Finally, we proposed that attrition would relate to whether batterer participation in treatment was self-motivated or the result of external pressures. Participants were 61 men enrolled in a batterer treatment program in a mid-sized city. Analyses of variance and discriminant analyses indicated that program attrition was unrelated to demographic, attitudinal, or personality variables. Only the contextual/program variables of mileage traveled to attend and external monitoring of attendance significantly differentiated treatment rejecters, drop-outs, and treatment continuers. Findings are discussed with regard to intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors. Future directions for exploration are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-34
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • Attrition
  • Batterer
  • Drop-out
  • Treatment
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Predictors of attrition in a treatment program for battering men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this