The coping efforts of intimate partner violence survivors: review of the literature, exploratory inquiry, and scale development Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Fraga, Cynthia M.
    • Affiliation: School of Social Work
  • Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant and prevalent social problem that impacts a considerable number of women each year. This often traumatic experience is strongly associated with a number of negative consequences affecting survivors' well-being. Fortunately, survivors' coping efforts have been shown to mitigate the impact of IPV on survivors' well-being. However, there is limited information regarding IPV as a distinct stressor, and the field is hampered by the lack of a comprehensive IPV-specific coping scale. The following three-paper dissertation addresses this critically important knowledge gap by contributing to the knowledge and measurement of coping among IPV survivors. The first paper provides a systematic and critical review of the literature on coping among female IPV survivors. The review identified 46 articles focused on survivors' coping experiences that met the study's criteria. This review highlighted what is known about IPV survivors' coping efforts as well as the methodological strengths and limitations of this literature. Further, this review found that coping has been conceptualized and measured in disparate and inconsistent ways across the reviewed articles. The second paper consists of a qualitative description study exploring IPV as a distinct stressor and the coping experiences of IPV survivors. Interview data from 6 IPV providers and 25 female survivors were analyzed using grounded theory techniques. Findings indicate that: (a) survivors use multiple and varied strategies to cope with IPV and IPV-related stress; (b) IPV survivors face multiple challenges and barriers in coping with the violence and stress in their lives; and (c) IPV is a unique stressor. The third paper presents the development and preliminary evaluation of an IPV-specific coping scale. Scale development was informed by theory, existing literature and measures, and interviews with IPV survivors and providers. Initial steps were taken to assess and enhance the scale's validity, including conducting an expert review (i.e., a review of the developed scale by a panel of experts on scale development, IPV, and coping) and cognitive interviewing with IPV survivors. Results from the expert review and cognitive interviewing were used to revise and refine the scale.
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  • In Copyright
  • Macy, Rebecca
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2013

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