Motivational interviewing as a mechanism for change in men who batter: a randomized controlled trial

Violence Vict. 2008;23(5):558-70. doi: 10.1891/0886-6708.23.5.558.


The present study reports on the potential effectiveness of motivational interviewing (MI) in changing the way batterers think about their violent behavior. Thirty-three domestic violence offenders who were court-mandated to treatment were randomly assigned to MI or a control condition before attending their first mandated treatment group. Consistent with predictions, the MI group demonstrated generally more improvement on stages of change subscales than the control group. Further, the MI group demonstrated a significantly greater decrease in the extent to which they blamed their violence on external factors. Current data indicate that MI has the potential to increase batterers' motivation to change, although validation trials with larger sample sizes and more refined measures are required.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Community Health Centers / organization & administration
  • Community Networks
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Maryland
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome