Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Experimental Psychology



First Reader/Committee Chair

Hassija, Christina


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a prevalent and destructive social problem affecting millions of people around the world. Although partner violence has been widely examined among women, few studies have focused on women in the role of perpetrator. The purpose of this investigation was to identify the underlying mechanisms of IPV perpetration among college women. Specifically, we investigated the relationship among attachment insecurity (i.e., anxious and avoidant), emotion regulation (ER) strategies (i.e., expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal), and IPV among a sample of college women. Participants (N = 177) were recruited from a Southern California university and completed measures of adult attachment, ER strategies, and incidences of IPV. Results revealed significant positive associations among attachment insecurity, the ER strategy expressive suppression, and IPV perpetration. Furthermore, results of a mediation analysis demonstrated the relationship between insecure attachment and IPV perpetration was mediated by expressive suppression. Results from this investigation further our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of female-perpetrated IPV and have significant implications for therapeutic and intervention efforts for women who perpetrate partner violence.