Exploring the Relationship between Emotion-Focused Coping and Posttraumatic Stress among Women Who Have Experienced Intimate Partner Violence
Women who have experienced violence in their intimate partnerships have consistently reported poorer physical and mental health and higher medical care utilization than women who have not experienced intimate partner violence. Because of the many deleterious impacts of relationship abuse, investigations into coping processes among women who have experienced intimate partner violence take on heightened importance. The complexity of circumstances and the unique responses to intimate partner violence indicate that women employ as many coping strategies as are available to them at the time. Effective coping behaviours and the recovery environment are critical for battered women’s positive adjustment (Carlson, 1997; Sullivan & Bybee, 1999). This study examined the relationships between emotion-focused coping, symptoms of post-traumatic stress and exposure to intimate partner violence in a sample of 670 women across the Prairie Provinces. The Composite Abuse Scale, Emotion-Focused Coping Strategies questionnaire, and the Posttraumatic Stress Checklist were used to measure the variables. Findings confirmed a strong correlation between greater exposure to abuse and symptoms of posttraumatic stress. They also confirmed that greater use of emotion-focused coping strategies was associated with escalation of abuse and more symptoms of posttraumatic stress within this group of women. This study adds to the current body of literature on ways women cope with intimate partner violence.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramSchool and Counselling Psychology
Copyright DateFebruary 2012
intimate partner violence, emotion-focused coping, posttraumatic stress