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Title:A Dynamic Investigation of Domestic Violence Survivors' Experiences With Their Informal Social Networks
Author(s):Trotter, Jennifer L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Allen, Nicole E.
Department / Program:Psychology
Discipline:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Psychology, Social
Abstract:Domestic violence survivors are active helpseekers who seek support from their informal social network (i.e. family and friends) to cope with the stress elicited by the abusive relationship. However, little is known about how well the support actually enacted by the network fits with survivors needs and how this support may change as a function time. Twenty women who had experienced recent abuse participated in in-depth interviews to help illuminate the processes by which change in support occurs, what it is a function of, as well as the extent to which the response provided by family and friends fits or fails to fit with the survivor's self-defined needs. Qualitative data analysis methods were employed, addressing the research questions as well as emergent themes. Content analysis was utilized to categorize the data but analysis was extended to also address the interconnectivity of themes, in an attempt to develop a theoretical model of social interactions survivors experience when seeking help from their informal network, the factors influencing those social interactions, and the resulting outcomes. Results of the analysis suggest that fit and change are helpful organizing constructs when examining survivors' interactions with their informal networks. Specifically, survivors articulated instances of both fit and lack of fit occurring, emerging as the result of network enacted behaviors that were influenced by contextual factors operating at different levels. Results suggest that issues of fit have consequences for survivors' relationships and well-being, but variability exists in the behaviors considered to fit with survivors' needs. Additionally, results indicate helpseeking for survivors is a dynamic process, with enacted support changing over time, with examples of both increasing and decreasing support present. Yet, survivors do not perceive change in support to be occurring sequentially, but in an event-specific fashion. Emergent themes suggest withholding some or all aspects of the abuse from the network is a common occurrence for survivors, and is influenced by concerns surrounding disclosure. Results indicate survivors carefully consider a variety of factors when making decisions of disclosure. Future directions for research and implications of the current research for intervention are discussed.
Issue Date:2008
Type:Text
Language:English
Description:203 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/82171
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3337945
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2008


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