Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Julia Perilla - Chair

Second Advisor

Roderick Watts

Third Advisor

Sarah Cook


The current exploratory study examined the relationships between intimacy or mutuality and expression of violence among a sample of Spanish-speaking immigrant men (N = 70) mandated to a batterer intervention program in the Western United States. Correlations, hierarchical regressions, ANOVAs, and t-tests were used to explore the three-phase program’s effects on changes in men’s self-reports of mutuality, physical violence, and total emotional violence and its components - verbal emotional violence and controlling behavior. The study found that higher reports of mutuality were significantly related to lower reports of all three measures of emotional violence at intake. It was also found that reports of total emotional violence and verbal emotional violence, but not controlling behavior were reduced with participation in the program. Two distinct groups of participants emerged, with men measured in the second phase of intervention reporting higher initial verbal emotional violence and mutuality than those measured in the third phase. In addition, men measured in the second phase reported greater changes in both verbal-emotional violence and mutuality than those who reported in the third phase. The findings appear to show limitations of the measurement methods and instruments. They also seem to indicate that batterer intervention programs in general may need to examine other ways to address the more pernicious social and political roots of domestic violence.