A longitudinal study of 114 women, all having serious problems in intimate relationships, recruited from the community was undertaken in order to investigate relationship and battering status over time. In the original sample (N=193), 97 women were battered and 96 were not battered, as determined by an adaptation of the Conflict Tactics Scale. Of the 114 who returned approximately 2 and 1/2 years later, only 25% of the 51 originally battered women were still in that category. Discriminant function analysis using a combination of variables from established instruments (depression, self-esteem, physical symptoms, self-care agency) and in depth interview (education, relationship control, relationship duration, childhood abuse) failed to distinguish those battered from those not abused at Time 2. Results do not support a learned helplessness model for most women experiencing abuse, and they suggest that battered women seen in the health care and/or social services systems should be supported in a process of healthy decision making about their relationship status.
- continuation of abuse
- learned helplessness
- spouse abuse
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)