Patterns of Workplace Supervisor Support Desired by Abused Women

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to understand differences in patterns of supervisor support desired by female victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) and to examine whether the pattern of support desired at work is reflective of a woman's stage of change in the abusive relationship, IPV-related work interference, and IPV-related job reprimands or job loss. We conducted interviews in Spanish or English with adult women working in low-income jobs who had been physically or sexually abused by an intimate partner/ ex-partner in the past year (N = 133). Cluster analysis revealed three distinct clusters that form a hierarchy of type of support wanted: those who desired limited support; those who desired confidential, time-off, and emotional support; and those who desired support in wide variety of ways from their supervisor. The clusters appeared to reflect stages of behavior change in an abusive relationship. Specifically, the limited-support cluster may represent an early precontemplation stage, with women reporting the least interference with work. The support-in-every-way cluster may represent later stages of change, in which women are breaking away from the abusive partner and report the greatest interference with work. Women in the confidential-, time-off-, and emotional-support cluster are in a transition stage in which they are considering change and are exploring options in their abusive relationship. Understanding the hierarchy of the type of support desired, and its relationship to stages of change in the abusive relationship and work interference, may provide a strong foundation for developing appropriate and effective workplace interventions to guide supervisors in providing support to women experiencing IPV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2264-2284
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume26
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cluster analysis
  • domestic violence
  • intimate partner violence
  • supervisor support
  • workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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