Date of Conferral





Human Services


Dr. Sandra Harris


Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women has been linked to long-term, negative health consequences such as depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation. There is a growing perception that African American women are the most affected by IPV, but the current literature does not confirm this perception. The purpose of this nonexperimental, correlational study was to examine the predictive relationships between the independent variables (spiritual coping, religious coping, and levels of IPV) and the dependent variable (level of depression). The ecological systems theory provided the framework for the study. The research question addressed how well variables such as religious coping, spiritual coping, and level of IPV predicted levels of depression in African American women. Convenience sampling was used to recruit 63 participants. Data were collected using a survey methodology. Multiple linear regression was used to analyze the data. Results indicated a statistically significant negative correlation between spiritual coping and depression, as well as a statistically significant positive correlation between IPV scores and level of depression. No statistically relationship was found between religious coping and depression. Human services and other professionals could use the results to advocate for the development of educational and counseling programs that inform African American women of the benefits of culturally based coping strategies such as spiritual coping. Findings from the study could contribute to social change by adding information to the literature on coping strategies that can potentially improve negative outcomes such as levels of depression for female survivors of IPV, particularly African American Women.