Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Psychology

First Advisor

Tom D. Kennedy

Second Advisor

Lenore E. Walker

Third Advisor

Ryan A. Black

Fourth Advisor

David L. Shapiro


domestic abuse, domestic violence, intimate partner violence (IPV), predictors


While violent crimes have been on a decline since 2005, domestic violence has been increasing steadily over the past decade (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2005, 2013, and 2014). A number of adult and childhood risk factors are associated with the increased likelihood of intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization. Witnessing interparental violence and experiencing abuse as a child are both linked to increased likelihood of experiencing IPV as an adult. (Ehrenstaft et al., 2003; Magdol, Moffitt, Caspi, & Silva, 1998; Stith et al., 2000; Stith, Smith, Penn, Ward, & Tritt, 2004; Widom et al., 2014). Additionally, relationship factors, including length of IPV relationships, intermittent relationship reinforcement, and having children not related to the perpetrator, are linked to an increased severity of abuse (McFarlane, Pennings, Symes, Maddoux, & Paulson, 2014; Miner, Shackelford, Block, Starratt, & Weekes-shackelford, 2012; Clements, Oxtoby, & Handsel, 2005). Little is known about the relationship between those risk factors and the severity of symptoms survivors of IPV experience. The primary aim of this study is to investigate the constellation of childhood and key adult relationship factors that predict the severity of emotional and behavioral symptoms resulting from IPV.

Included in

Psychology Commons