Date of Award

5-1-1998

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.W.

Department

School of Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Gale Horton

Abstract

This study examined whether the relationship between the level of self-esteem and a woman’s decision to leave an abusive relationship was significant. This study was based on the idea that a woman’s decision to leave the abusive relationship was due to having a relatively high level of self-esteem. A self-esteem questionnaire was distributed to two Atlanta area domestic violence shelters. These questionnaires were administered by the researcher and/or shelter staff. The researcher found that there was no significant difference between the decision to leave an abusive relationship and the level of self-esteem. In fact, the majority of the levels of self-esteem were borderline as to whether there was the presence of a problem with self-esteem. The conclusions drawn from this study pointed to a need for more longitudinal studies, the need for more clear conceptual models, large scale data bases, and reliable instrumentation. The results of this study suggests that the level of self-esteem is not significant to a woman’s decision to leave an abusive relationship.

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