The Role of Violent Thinking in Violent Behavior: It’s More About Thinking Than Drinking [2017]

This article aims to explore and report on violent thinking and alcohol misuse; how these factors may predict self-reported violence. The role of violent thinking in violent behavior is both well established in theoretical models, yet there are few measures that explain this role. One measure that has been identified is the Maudsley Violence Questionnaire (MVQ). This is the first study to explore the use of the MVQ with a general (nonoffender) adult sample, having already been shown to be valid with young people (under 18 years old), adult male offenders, and mentally disordered offenders. This study involved 808 adult participants—569 female and 239 male participants. As figures demonstrate that around half of all violent crime in the United Kingdom is alcohol related, we also explored the role of alcohol misuse. Regression was used to explore how these factors predicted violence. The results demonstrate the important role of violent thinking in violent behavior. The MVQ factor of “Machismo” was the primary factor in regression models for both male and female self-reported violence. The role of alcohol in the regression models differed slightly between the male and female participants, with alcohol misuse involved in male violence. The study supports theoretical models including the role of violent thinking and encourages those hoping to address violence, to consider “Machismo” as a treatment target. The study also provides further validation of the MVQ as a helpful tool for clinicians or researchers who may be interested in “measuring” violent thinking.

Nicola Bowes, Julian Walker, Elise Hughes, Rhiannon Lewis, Gemma Hyde
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol 35, Issue 23-24, 2020