Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Matthew Fearrington

Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) affects millions of women, men, and families throughout the world each year, with more than a million incidents of domestic partner abuse reported to law enforcement officials each year in the United States. Being able to accurately assess and help a woman who is experiencing this type of violence can be difficult for even a seasoned mental health or medical professional. The purpose of this study was to determine whether clinicians can gain insight into the personality structure of women who have experienced IPV by clinical interview and administration of the Rorschach alone. This study analyzed the Rorschach responses of 52 participants: 26 participants who had experienced violence and 26 who had not. The relationship between the Rorschach responses and variables was then analyzed using a series of ANOVAs. Results of this study indicated that there were significant differences in morbid content scores (MOR) and aggressive content scores (AG) in the women who had experienced intimate partner violence compared to women who had not. This may be significant in that women who have experienced partner violence may see more morbidity and aggressiveness in their everyday lives or from a neutral stimulus. This study may impact social change by bringing attention to an understudied population in order to increase awareness of this issue. In being able to link a womanâ??s response patterns on the Rorschach to her personality traits and ultimately her behavior in abusive relationships, it is anticipated that it will be possible for clinicians to personalize treatment plans to a specific womanâ??s needs and personality to increase the probability that she will leave an abusive situation.

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