Still Looking for Mechanisms

A Realist Review of Batterer Intervention Programs

Alisa J. Velonis, Debbie Finn Mahabir, Raglan Maddox, Patricia O’Campo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Complex interventions, including batterer intervention or treatment programs (BIPs), require that program strategies interact with contextual factors to trigger often unseen mechanisms in individuals or communities. Although hundreds of evaluations of BIPs have been published, few identify mechanisms or explain for whom, under what conditions, and why programs are effective. The goal of this realist review is to identify evidence of the mechanisms that contribute to successful immediate outcomes in BIPs. Methods: In accordance with published realist review standards, we defined the review questions and rational, defined outcomes and formulating initial theories, searched the literature, applied inclusion and exclusion criteria, and analyzed and synthesizing data. An initial search yielded 5,149 citations, and after a systematic process using realist principles, six articles with sufficient information were included. Results: Few evaluations contain the detail necessary to discern clear generative explanations of program processes. Evidence suggested that under some contextual conditions, strategies that trigger a self-reflexive process in participants may lead to changes in attitudes about violence, which may lead to the development of empathy for their partner. Additionally, programs that help participants differentiate between shame and guilt appear to increase both acceptance of responsibility and empathy. Discussion: This realist synthesis illustrates several gaps in the evaluative literature. Few evaluations captured sufficient detail to examine the influence of contextual factors. Likewise, most evaluations only describe if specific outcomes were achieved, not how, or through what mechanisms, those outcomes were accomplished. Recommendations to strengthen program theory and further examine self-reflection as a mechanism are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Shame
Guilt
evaluation
empathy
Violence
shame
reflexivity
guilt
evidence
exclusion
acceptance
inclusion
violence
responsibility
community
literature

Cite this

Velonis, Alisa J. ; Mahabir, Debbie Finn ; Maddox, Raglan ; O’Campo, Patricia. / Still Looking for Mechanisms : A Realist Review of Batterer Intervention Programs. In: Trauma, Violence, and Abuse. 2018 ; pp. 1-13.
@article{c5d7a8b91ae048a0ab259ee0e359def1,
title = "Still Looking for Mechanisms: A Realist Review of Batterer Intervention Programs",
abstract = "Introduction: Complex interventions, including batterer intervention or treatment programs (BIPs), require that program strategies interact with contextual factors to trigger often unseen mechanisms in individuals or communities. Although hundreds of evaluations of BIPs have been published, few identify mechanisms or explain for whom, under what conditions, and why programs are effective. The goal of this realist review is to identify evidence of the mechanisms that contribute to successful immediate outcomes in BIPs. Methods: In accordance with published realist review standards, we defined the review questions and rational, defined outcomes and formulating initial theories, searched the literature, applied inclusion and exclusion criteria, and analyzed and synthesizing data. An initial search yielded 5,149 citations, and after a systematic process using realist principles, six articles with sufficient information were included. Results: Few evaluations contain the detail necessary to discern clear generative explanations of program processes. Evidence suggested that under some contextual conditions, strategies that trigger a self-reflexive process in participants may lead to changes in attitudes about violence, which may lead to the development of empathy for their partner. Additionally, programs that help participants differentiate between shame and guilt appear to increase both acceptance of responsibility and empathy. Discussion: This realist synthesis illustrates several gaps in the evaluative literature. Few evaluations captured sufficient detail to examine the influence of contextual factors. Likewise, most evaluations only describe if specific outcomes were achieved, not how, or through what mechanisms, those outcomes were accomplished. Recommendations to strengthen program theory and further examine self-reflection as a mechanism are discussed.",
keywords = "batterers, cultural contexts, domestic violence, intervention/treatment",
author = "Velonis, {Alisa J.} and Mahabir, {Debbie Finn} and Raglan Maddox and Patricia O’Campo",
year = "2018",
month = "8",
day = "20",
doi = "10.1177/1524838018791285",
language = "English",
pages = "1--13",
journal = "Trauma, Violence, and Abuse",
issn = "1524-8380",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",

}

Still Looking for Mechanisms : A Realist Review of Batterer Intervention Programs. / Velonis, Alisa J.; Mahabir, Debbie Finn; Maddox, Raglan; O’Campo, Patricia.

In: Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, 20.08.2018, p. 1-13.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Still Looking for Mechanisms

T2 - A Realist Review of Batterer Intervention Programs

AU - Velonis, Alisa J.

AU - Mahabir, Debbie Finn

AU - Maddox, Raglan

AU - O’Campo, Patricia

PY - 2018/8/20

Y1 - 2018/8/20

N2 - Introduction: Complex interventions, including batterer intervention or treatment programs (BIPs), require that program strategies interact with contextual factors to trigger often unseen mechanisms in individuals or communities. Although hundreds of evaluations of BIPs have been published, few identify mechanisms or explain for whom, under what conditions, and why programs are effective. The goal of this realist review is to identify evidence of the mechanisms that contribute to successful immediate outcomes in BIPs. Methods: In accordance with published realist review standards, we defined the review questions and rational, defined outcomes and formulating initial theories, searched the literature, applied inclusion and exclusion criteria, and analyzed and synthesizing data. An initial search yielded 5,149 citations, and after a systematic process using realist principles, six articles with sufficient information were included. Results: Few evaluations contain the detail necessary to discern clear generative explanations of program processes. Evidence suggested that under some contextual conditions, strategies that trigger a self-reflexive process in participants may lead to changes in attitudes about violence, which may lead to the development of empathy for their partner. Additionally, programs that help participants differentiate between shame and guilt appear to increase both acceptance of responsibility and empathy. Discussion: This realist synthesis illustrates several gaps in the evaluative literature. Few evaluations captured sufficient detail to examine the influence of contextual factors. Likewise, most evaluations only describe if specific outcomes were achieved, not how, or through what mechanisms, those outcomes were accomplished. Recommendations to strengthen program theory and further examine self-reflection as a mechanism are discussed.

AB - Introduction: Complex interventions, including batterer intervention or treatment programs (BIPs), require that program strategies interact with contextual factors to trigger often unseen mechanisms in individuals or communities. Although hundreds of evaluations of BIPs have been published, few identify mechanisms or explain for whom, under what conditions, and why programs are effective. The goal of this realist review is to identify evidence of the mechanisms that contribute to successful immediate outcomes in BIPs. Methods: In accordance with published realist review standards, we defined the review questions and rational, defined outcomes and formulating initial theories, searched the literature, applied inclusion and exclusion criteria, and analyzed and synthesizing data. An initial search yielded 5,149 citations, and after a systematic process using realist principles, six articles with sufficient information were included. Results: Few evaluations contain the detail necessary to discern clear generative explanations of program processes. Evidence suggested that under some contextual conditions, strategies that trigger a self-reflexive process in participants may lead to changes in attitudes about violence, which may lead to the development of empathy for their partner. Additionally, programs that help participants differentiate between shame and guilt appear to increase both acceptance of responsibility and empathy. Discussion: This realist synthesis illustrates several gaps in the evaluative literature. Few evaluations captured sufficient detail to examine the influence of contextual factors. Likewise, most evaluations only describe if specific outcomes were achieved, not how, or through what mechanisms, those outcomes were accomplished. Recommendations to strengthen program theory and further examine self-reflection as a mechanism are discussed.

KW - batterers

KW - cultural contexts

KW - domestic violence

KW - intervention/treatment

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85052575078&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/1524838018791285

DO - 10.1177/1524838018791285

M3 - Article

SP - 1

EP - 13

JO - Trauma, Violence, and Abuse

JF - Trauma, Violence, and Abuse

SN - 1524-8380

ER -