Date of Conferral
Counselor Education and Supervision
Mark D. Stauffer
In families where parents present with intimate partner violence dynamics, courts routinely impose restraints restricting communications between those parents. However, the same courts also routinely fashion arrangements whereby those same parents share custody of their children. Children in families with this dynamic are often used as communication facilitators and triangulated by parental conflict. This grounded theory study generated a theory about parenting coordination work with high conflict couples with intimate partner violence dynamics. This theory may have utility for parenting coordinators working more effectively with the described population. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 professional parenting coordinators who have worked with high conflict parents with intimate partner violence. The qualitative data collected were analyzed through open, axial, and selective coding procedures with the additional use of research/mentor triangulation and researcher journaling. Results of this study yielded adaptive parenting coordination for intimate partner violence theory (APCIPV). This theory incorporates findings that specific modifications to the parenting coordination process, along with a concentrated effort to implement structured communication techniques and focused monitoring of exchanges between the parties can lead to coparenting despite the intimate partner violence dynamic. Further, it was revealed that high conflict parents, in general, often present with and report many of the same problematic behaviors even without a formal adjudication of domestic violence. Findings from this study can serve as an evidence basis for promoting the use of parenting coordinators as communication facilitators between high conflict parents with intimate partner violence to remove children from familial triangulation.