THE PROACTIVE-REACTIVE CLASSIFICATION OF INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE OFFENDERS: A MULTI-METHOD APPROACH TO CLASSIFICATION OF BATTERERS
The current study attempted to replicate and extend Chase, O‟Leary, and Heyman's (2001) Proactive-Reactive classification of intimate partner violent (IPV) men. Male perpetrator and female victim narratives of past violent incidents were coded using a modified, dimensional version of the Proactive-Reactive coding system (Chase, O‟Leary & Heyman, 2001), yielding three categories of batterers: Predominantly Reactive (PR), Mixed Proactive/Reactive (MP), and Predominantly Proactive (PP). Coded proactive and reactive categories were examined for differences in personality disorder features, psychophysiological reactivity, and the project-designed Proactive-Reactive Questionnaire (PRQ). Results suggested agreement in the classification when based on perpetrator vs. victim‟s report. No differences were found on personality measures between the groups when classified based on both male as well as female narratives. However, Predominantly Reactive batterers coded from men‟s narratives engaged in more reactive violence than the Mixed Proactive/Reactive group as per the PRQ. Predominantly Reactive batterers classified from women‟s narratives exhibited significantly greater heart rate reactivity than the Mixed Proactive/Reactive group, as expected. This study suggests that Chase et al‟s (2001) coding system is reliable and valid based on either perpetrator or victims‟ report.