Date of Award

5-1-1999

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

M.S.W.

First Advisor

Dr. Gale Horton

Abstract

This study investigated the emotional adjustment of battered women utilizing the theoretical frameworks of the hopelessness theory and the transactional stress-coping paradigm. This investigation should assist social workers to work with women who have experienced abuse. This study supports the fact that social workers must listen to what the women say and pay heed to their voices. Possibly, this work can help to redefine and revitalize the role of social workers as change agents, advocates, case managers, and program developers in the field of domestic violence. Battered women were asked to participate in the study and fifty women volunteered. The women were all involved in shelter programs, private counseling, or support groups in and around Metro-Atlanta.

This descriptive study explored the relationship between the social, behavioral, and psychological strategies used by battered women to cope with depression because of domestic violence. The data analysis used was descriptive and inferential statistics. Most of the women in the study reported levels of depression, but did not report feeling hopeless. Participants who used problem-focused coping skills felt less despondent. The findings in this study were significant and supported previous research in this area. Most of the battered women in this study did not blame themselves for the abuse and interestingly enough, the more severe the first assault the more the women realized they were not the cause of the abuse.

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