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The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context

On-line version ISSN 1989-4007Print version ISSN 1889-1861

Abstract

ROMERO-MARTINEZ, Ángel; LILA, Marisol  and  MOYA-ALBIOL, Luis. Testosterone and attention deficits as possible mechanisms underlying impaired emotion recognition in intimate partner violence perpetrators. The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context [online]. 2016, vol.8, n.2, pp.57-62. ISSN 1989-4007.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpal.2016.01.001.

Several studies have reported impairments in decoding emotional facial expressions in intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetrators. However, the mechanisms that underlie these impaired skills are not well known. Given this gap in the literature, we aimed to establish whether IPV perpetrators (n = 18) differ in their emotion decoding process, attentional skills, and testosterone (T), cortisol (C) levels and T/C ratio in comparison with controls (n = 20), and also to examine the moderating role of the group and hormonal parameters in the relationship between attention skills and the emotion decoding process. Our results demonstrated that IPV perpetrators showed poorer emotion recognition and higher attention switching costs than controls. Nonetheless, they did not differ in attention to detail and hormonal parameters. Finally, the slope predicting emotion recognition from deficits in attention switching became steeper as T levels increased, especially in IPV perpetrators, although the basal C and T/C ratios were unrelated to emotion recognition and attention deficits for both groups. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying emotion recognition deficits. These factors therefore constitute the target for future interventions.

Keywords : Attention; Cortisol; Emotion recognition; Testosterone; Intimate partner violence.

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