Resiliency in the face of interparental violence : a qualitative investigation
Rhinas, Jacqueline D
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Childhood exposure to family violence is a risk factor for dysfunctional intimate relationships in adulthood (e.g., Fagan & Browne, 1994). Family violence research has commonly utilized Social Learning Theory to explain cross-generational patterns of family violence. However, not all individuals who experience a violent home environment become abusers or victims in their parental or marital roles (e.g., Duffy & Momirov, 1997), which illustrates resiliency - positive adaptation or development in spite of serious threats or significant adversity (Masten, 2001). Considering strengths and resources, rather than risks and vulnerabilities, is relatively new in the field of family violence. Consequently, a basic interpretive qualitative research design (Merriam, 2002) was utilized to investigate the experiences of three heterosexual women who self-identified as (a) having observed a pattern of interparental violence in childhood and (b) currently being in non-violent intimate adult relationships. The study’s purpose was to describe and understand this phenomenon, with special attention given to identifying possible resiliency and protective factors. Interviews were conducted on multiple occasions and transcripts were analyzed in terms of Kearney’s (2001) shared meaning and descriptive categories. The shared meaning involved the role of emotional work required, and the descriptive categories included five themes (i.e., Diverse Experiences of Family Violence, Family Violence is Always with You, Complex Daughter-Mother Relationships, Understanding and Making Sense of Healthy Relationships, and Sources of Strength and Positive Influences). Findings are described alongside implications for counselling practice and future research.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramEducational Psychology and Special Education
SupervisorNicol, Jennifer A. J.
CommitteeMartin, Stephanie; Downe, Pamela J.; Robinson, Sam
Copyright DateAugust 2006
basic interpretive qualitative research