Three-Component Model of Abuse in Interpersonal Communication

Keywords: abuse, violence, manipulations, abuse criteria, social intelligence, emotional intelligence, interpersonal communications, psychological competence


Introduction. One of the most relevant issues in practical psychology is the topic of abuse – manipulation, violence, and violation of personal boundaries of any kind. The purpose of this study is to provide a concise, structured view of communication abuse, expressed in a three-component model. The communication of abuse contains three components: asymmetry, variability, and purpose. The following hypotheses were verified: 1) the detection of abuse by the person in situations of interpersonal communication occurs with the simultaneous presence of all three components; 2) abuse communication can be identified more frequently (successfully) in case of a higher level of psychological competence.

Methods. To verify the hypotheses of the study, we created a questionnaire entitled Experimental Test for the Detection of Abuse. The sample of the study was comprised of 74 respondents aged 20 to 58 years, 34 of whom were professional psychologists (the group of ‘psychologists’) and 40 of whom were specialists of other professions (the group of ‘non-psychologists’). The gender composition was as follows: 24 males and 50 females.

Results. The hypotheses verification showed the following results: 1) the empirical distribution of answers for the whole sample, as well as for the “psychologists” and “non-psychologists”, does not differ from the theoretical one; 2) the results for the group of “psychologists” are significantly different from those obtained in the group of “non-psychologists”.

Discussion. Both hypotheses of the study were confirmed: 1) the detection of abuse takes place in accordance with the proposed three-component abuse model; 2) psychological competence and other kinds of psychological activities reliably contribute to a more successful recognition of abuse.

Conclusion. In the article we formulated the conclusions about the correctness of the three-component abuse model and the influence of the level of psychological competence on the ability to determine abuse in social contacts. The presented model may become a method of analyzing communications of abuse and be used to correct them.


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Author Biography

Sergey A. Chuganskiy, Moscow Service of Psychological Help to the Population

Manager of the sector Moscow service of psychological help to the population; 109125, Moscow, Dokuchayev Lane


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How to Cite
Chuganskiy, S. A. (2019). Three-Component Model of Abuse in Interpersonal Communication. Russian Psychological Journal, 16(3), 87-101.
Social psychology