Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kelly M. Lewis, PhD

Second Advisor

Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD

Third Advisor

Sarah Cook, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Julia Perilla, PhD

Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a leading cause of death and injury for women in the United States. Although African American women are one of the groups most likely to be killed by an intimate partner, there has been little research to identify factors associated with risk among this group. To address this gap in the literature, the current study investigated ecological risk factors associated with physical and psychological IPV. Next, Africultural coping was explored as a moderator hypothesized to decrease the association between childhood maltreatment (CM) one of the strongest predictors of IPV, and IPV outcomes. It was hypothesized that Africultural coping would moderate the association between the level of retrospectively reported CM and recent reports of psychological IPV victimization, such that there would be a weaker relationship between CM and IPV for women who reported higher levels of Africultural coping. Results of multiple linear regressions indicated that higher levels of CM predicted both psychological and physical IPV, while controlling for the participants’ age. Hypothesized moderators were limited in their association with IPV. Implications for research, policy, practice, and wellness promotion for African American women are discussed.

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