Relationship status of battered women over time

Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Paul Miller, Mary M. Cardwell, Ruth Ann Belknap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-111
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1994


  • continuation of abuse
  • learned helplessness
  • spouse abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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