Miyagawa, Y. (宮川裕基) & Kanemasa, Y. (金政祐司) (2022). Insecure attachment and psychological intimate partner violence perpetration: Low self-compassion and compassionate goals as mediators. 不安定なアタッチメントと親密なパートナーへの心理的暴力加害―セルフ・コンパッションと思いやり目標を媒介要因として― Journal of Family Violence. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-022-00436-z
Purpose In this pre-registered research, we tested how attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance were related to psychological intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration. Specifically, we examined the mediating roles of self-compassion and compassionate goals in these associations. Method Available data were collected online from 513 participants (241 men, 272 women) who were currently in a dating relationship in Japan. These participants completed a measure of general romantic attachment styles and, then, brought their current dating partners to mind. Subsequently, they completed measures of compassionate goals, self-compassion, and psychological IPV perpetration and victimization in their current dating relationships. Results We tested the saturated mediation model in which we treated attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance as predictors, self-compassion and compassionate goals as parallel mediators, and psychological IPV perpetration as an outcome variable. Multiple mediation analyses indicated that low self-compassion mediated the positive associations between attachment anxiety and psychological IPV perpetration, point estimate = 0.006, 95% CI [0.003, 0.010], and between attachment avoidance and psychological IPV perpetration, point estimate = 0.004, 95% CI [0.002, 0.008]. Furthermore, low compassionate goals mediated the positive association between attachment avoidance and psychological IPV perpetration, point estimate = 0.018, 95% CI [0.010, 0.026]. These indirect effects remained significant even when the influence of psychological IPV victimization and covariates, such as participants’ sex and relationship characteristics, were considered in the model. Conclusions Our findings imply that insecure attachment styles may orient people to be less compassionate toward themselves and their relationship partners and, thus, engage in psychological IPV perpetration.