Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Cooperating University

University of Kentucky


Social Work

Degree Program

Social Work, PhD

Committee Chair

Antle, Becky F.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Barbee, Anita

Committee Member

Barbee, Anita

Committee Member

Flaherty, Chris

Committee Member

Sterrett-Hong, Emma

Committee Member

van Zyl, Riaan

Author's Keywords

intimate partner violence; parenting; typology; situational violence


Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) between the parents of children living at home has shown to have a profound effect on learning outcomes, developmental milestones, pediatric development, future mental health and overall physical safety and wellbeing (Anda, Block & Felitti, 2003). Although much research has been done on outcomes of child-witnesses and parenting in IPV relationships, some evidence suggests (Kernsmith, 2006) that the role of family dynamics among parents, as part of the IPV dynamic, is a critical variable. Other researchers (Johnson, 1995; Graham-Kevan & Archer, 2003) have theorized that violence with a high degree of controlling behaviors, often called Coercive Control Violence, only comprise some of the many incidences of IPV, and that physical violence with low or without power and control dynamics, often called Situational Violence, is more common in the general population. Although previous studies have shown (Johnson, 2006; Graham Kevan & Archer, 2003; Antle & Ness Roberts, 2012) that these two types of violence are etiologically different and have dissimilar reactions to treatment, research to date has not published the effect that controlling vs. non-controlling IPV has on family cohesion, the parent-child relationship, and child well-being, or what effect relationship education has on these outcomes within the two types of violence. This dissertation preliminarily addresses the gap in the literature by analyzing pre-intervention data on child well-being, family cohesion, and the parent-child relationship in Coercive Control Violent (CCV), Situational Violent (SV) and No Violence (NV) relationships using a one-way MANOVA, testing the effect of the Within My Reach healthy relationship intervention on the three outcome measures by type of violence using three Repeated Measures ANOVAs, and finally, exploring what variables may have contributed to changes in the outcome variables (change in couple communication, relationship satisfaction, reduction in physical or psychological violence) using a Multiple Regression. Utilizing the survey data from a federally-funded healthy relationship grant, Relationship Education Across Louisville (REAL) that occurred over a five-year period of time from 2005-2010, low and high control violence groups were created using a k-means cluster analysis and compared to a No Violence group on three outcome measures: the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scale (FACES), the Parent Child Relationship Scale (PCRS) and the Child Well-Being (CWB) scales. The cluster groups were created using the same process as Graham-Kevan and Archer (2006) that clustered groups by violence types of low and high control, similar to this study, using the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) to measure physical violence and the Controlling Behaviors Scale (CBS) to measure power, control and psychological violence. The study found that CCV adversely affected family cohesion, the parent child relationship and child well-being significantly more than SV (FACES p. The implications of this research include a more complex understanding of how Intimate Partner Violence control dynamics affect family cohesion, the parent-child relationship and child well-being as well as how each violence type is differentially affected by treatment. The evidence that each violence group clustered drastically different on the means indicates as well that we may not have the understanding of the dynamics of IPV that have been historically presented. The study points to many areas of future research and significant policy and practice implications for the field of Intimate Partner Violence.

Included in

Social Work Commons