Date of Conferral







Brian Cesario


AbstractEstimates by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics point to over 30% of women being victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) yearly. Severity and frequency of violence in childhood have been shown in several studies to predict adult interpersonal violence. Research has shown that emotional abuse predicts other forms of abuse, thus identifying it as a potential causal link to IPV. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine whether emotional abuse mediates the relationship between history of childhood abuse and IPV. Social learning theory served as the theoretical framework for the study, in which 182 adult female participants from across the United States completed questionnaires on demographics, childhood abuse history, emotional distress, and interpersonal violence experiences. Emotional abuse was not found to mediate the relationship between childhood abuse and current IPV relationships. However, additional analyses showed that emotional abuse moderated the relationship between childhood abuse and IPV. Findings may be used by counselors and psychologists to better serve IPV survivors leading to positive social change. Multidisciplinary future research such as assessment of parents’/caregivers’ victimization histories; victims’/survivors’ training and/or retraining; access to safe housing; employment; enhanced educational access; mandatory prevention/early intervention programs; resiliency/community centers; and other locally and state/federally funded programming will ignite social transformation.