Memories of intimate partner violence and the process of change

Matan White, David E. Pollio, Barry A. Hong, Carol S North

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: One in 4 U.S. women experience intimate partner violence (IPV) during their lives. Despite the magnitude of this problem, little is known about the natural history of relationships involving IPV and how women exit them.

METHODS: Narrative interviews were conducted using open-ended qualitative narrative techniques with a convenience sample of 7 women who had ended a relationship of ≥6 months' duration involving IPV at least 6 months ago. The interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. Qualitative narrative analysis was conducted to identify IPV relationship phases and themes.

RESULTS: From the analysis, 5 narrative phases and 2 topics emerged. The chronological presentation order of the phases was The Good Guy, Red Flags, Domestic Violence/Abuse, Mobilizing Resources, and Action. Material from the Moving On topic culminated these phases, and material from the Transition Points topic punctuated them.

CONCLUSIONS: The phases that emerged were reminiscent of stages of change suggested by Prochaska and DiClemente's Transtheoretical Model of Change, but these women's narratives were overall less linear, with substantial between-phase overlap. The Red Flags phase emerged as particularly significant to the women in hindsight and may represent a potential opportunity for therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of clinical psychiatry : official journal of the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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