Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Criminal Justice


Chitra Raghavan

Committee Members

Rosemary Barberet

Katarzyna Celinska

Rosa Viñas-Racionero

Subject Categories

Criminology | Psychology


Intimate Partner Violence, Coercive Control, Batterer Typologies, Shame, Guilt, Toxic Masculinity


Coercive control provides a current day feminist understanding of intimate partner violence (IPV). Recent research has demonstrated the significance of coercive control and suggests it provides a more accurate understanding of IPV than using physical violence alone. Utilizing a feminist lens, this study’s first aim was to explore if typologies based on coercive control could be developed. The second and third aims were to explore if demographic differences and differences in masculinity exist across typologies. The final aim of this study was to continue the feminist understanding of IPV using the moral emotions of shame and guilt as an extension of failed masculinity and explore their differences across typologies.

One hundred and thirty-seven heterosexual men were recruited from a mandated batterer’s intervention program. Using cluster analyses, two potential models emerged. The first, based off quantitative measures, posits a two-cluster structure with a group of batterers who utilize high levels of severe and invasive coercive control, as well as punitive tactics and those who use lower levels of coercive control. The alternative model derived from narratives of coercion around a self-identified worst fight suggests a five-cluster structure. This snapshot in time suggests that batterers show preference to a specific form of coercive control and organize around tactics rather than severity. Using both these models, the remaining aims were explored. Results indicated little to no differences across demographics, masculinity, or moral emotions, suggesting that these variables do not influence why someone uses coercive control. However, results also indicate that coercive control is a viable way of categorizing abuse and that both quantitative and qualitative measurements of coercive control are essential to accurately capturing its use and impact.

This work is embargoed and will be available for download on Saturday, September 30, 2023

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