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The Maudsley Violence Questionnaire (MVQ)

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The Maudsley Violence Questionnaire (MVQ) Number Maudsley Violence Questionnaire The Maudsley Violence Questionnaire measures cognitions relating to violent Behavior. The MVQ is a 54-item questionnaire covering a range of cognitions (beliefs, rules, distortions and attributions) that may provide justifications, support, or injunctions to violence. Each item is rated true/false. The MVQ comprises two factors: Machismo, which relates to embarrassment over backing down, violence as an aspect of being male, justification of violence as a way of responding to a threat and/or an attack, and the strength and weakness associated with non-violence and fear; Acceptance of violence including overt acceptance and enjoyment of violence, in sport and in the media as well injunctions against violence as a behavior that is acceptable (Walker, 2005; Gilligan, 1996). The idea behind the development of the MVQ was to produce a measure that assessed dysfunctional assumptions and the self-related core beliefs (schemas), which were influential in violent and aggressive behaviors.

The MVQ was designed from a cognitive behavioral perspective, suggesting that violence is a macho response to threatened self-esteem. It is proposed that violence is a legitimized strategy to cover low self esteem, which has been further threatened in a social interaction.

A factor analysis of the MVQ revealed machismo to be a primary subscale of the MVQ which strongly predicted self-reported delinquency (Walker, 2005). Given that the MVQ was specifically conceived to relate to violence, it would be expected that the MVQ factors would be better predictors of violence than personality factors, but that in keeping with previous studies, psychoticism would be a better predictor of overall offending. Machismo is a cognitive style rather than a personality factor and the specific nature of machismo makes it more relevant for violent offending, but less perhaps relevant for other types of offending.

The exploration of the relationship of the MVQ factors to personality and self-esteem will help to demonstrate whether the MVQ factors are related to or independent of personality factors and whether there is a relationship between self-esteem, violent cognitions and self-reported violent behavior. The major theme in the development of the questionnaire was using violence to protect self esteem and as a response to embarrassment (Gilligan, 1996). The theme is important in the context of the youths as there is support in literature suggesting that there have been considerations of belief which allow violence and believe in its use to promote self esteem.

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