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Contextualized pathways towards women's use of violence: A mixed-methods investigation

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Title: Contextualized pathways towards women's use of violence: A mixed-methods investigation
Author(s): Javdani, Shabnam
Director of Research: Verona, Edelyn
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Allen, Nicole E.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Verona, Edelyn; Aber, Mark S.; Greene, Jennifer C.; Roberts, Brent W.
Department / Program: Psychology
Discipline: Psychology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Antisocial Behavior Gender Differences Mixed-Methods Externalizing Psychopathology Violence Trauma
Abstract: Although women engage in violence less frequently than men, an emerging body of research has documented the potentially devastating effects of women’s violence for individuals, families, and society. Research also suggests that women’s pathways to violence, particularly in terms of etiology, are characteristically different than that of men. However, empirically supported models of violence developed specifically for women are largely lacking. This study will examine models that are most relevant for explaining women’s violence, and span literatures and levels of analysis, including genetic, environmental, and socio-structural factors. Toward this end, a mixed methods design was employed and included a quantitative component to generate multivariate path models examining gene-environment interplay and environmental intervening variables of violence in women and men (Phase I), and a qualitative component with a subset of women aimed at exploring socio-structural factors influencing women’s violence (Phase II). In juxtaposition, these two components were leveraged toward delineating a pathway that includes both individual difference factors that explain variability in use of violence as well as socio-structural factors that place individual women’s violent acts in a broader social context. Findings supported both convergence and divergence across methods. Specifically, the quantitative component supported a female-specific path, with trauma and substance use intervening between GxE effects and violence. Female-specificity was largely supported by qualitative interviews with a subset of 20 women. Qualitative interviews also extend quantitative findings by informing the sequence of risky experiences in women’s lives and implicating the importance of gender-salient experiences, particularly intimate partner violence and sex work. Interviews also suggested that women’s subjugated roles in interpersonal and social contexts promote their use of violence and suggest the relevance of gender at the socio-structural level.
Issue Date: 2012-09-18
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/34461
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Shabnam Javdani
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-09-18
Date Deposited: 2012-08
 

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