Date of Award

6-11-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Sattelmeyer - Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Julia Perilla

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a study conducted at a domestic violence safehouse for an undergraduate Honors Thesis. Twenty-three children ages 4-16 from African American and immigrant communities were interviewed while residing at a safehouse for victims of domestic violence regarding their beliefs and attitudes about perceptions of self, conflict resolution skills, and feelings of anger and coping strategies. The study found a strong relation between length of stay & positive coping strategies. Age & gender were also related to conflict resolution skills. Qualitative data provided interesting & potentially important insights into children’s internal experiences of being witnesses of domestic violence. The study did not support past research in terms of child witnesses exhibiting low self-esteem, poor conflict strategies, and high rates of aggression. This study concludes that more research needs to be conducted on protective factors and resiliency to the effects of domestic violence to explain this study’s results.

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