Date of Graduation

Spring 2017


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Paul Deal


domestic violence, interpersonal violence, return to abuse, leaving abusive situations, PTSD, social support, economic dependence

Subject Categories



Domestic violence and interpersonal abuse affects one-third of women and can have extreme negative consequences on the victim's psychological and physical health and well-being. Recently, the related area of a victim's choice to return to an abusive relationship has been studied more thoroughly, although the body of literature in this area is still relatively small and only provides limited evidence for factors predicting return to abuse. The current research examined the possible risk factors of victims of interpersonal violence in leaving and returning to abusive situations. 40 participants were recruited from a domestic violence shelter and completed a questionnaire packet containing a demographic questionnaire and scales on social support, relationship commitment, posttraumatic stress disorder symptomology, economic dependence, return to abuse, and interpersonal abuse severity. Two simultaneous multiple regression analyses revealed that economic abuse, injury due to abuse, and sexual coercion were predictive of leaving abusive situations, and economic abuse and sexual coercion were predictive of return to abuse. Results indicate that economic abuse and sexual coercion are consistent predictors of leaving and returning to abusive situations.


© Rachel Leanne Swadley

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