Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Christine Fiore

Commitee Members

Nadine Wisniewski, Danielle Wozniak


Childhood Abuse, Coping, Intimate Partner Violence


University of Montana


Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been estimated to affect one in four women in her lifetime (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000), and research has found that women with previous childhood abuse experiences are more likely to enter into relationships with IPV. The purpose of the current study was to investigate differences between female IPV survivors who have and who have not experienced childhood abuse. Three hundred and ninety four women, recruited through flyers across Western Montana, participated in the original study (Fiore & Kennedy, 2000). They were interviewed on different aspects of their most recent violent relationship, their past experiences with abuse, and the social support systems they utilized. Participants also completed demographic information that included the length of their relationship, the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS; Straus, 1979), Ways of Coping (WOC) Questionnaire (Folkman & Lazarus, 1988), and the Trauma Symptoms Checklist (TSC; Briere & Runtz, 1989). Results demonstrated that women with childhood abuse experiences report greater violence in their most recent violent relationship. Mediation analyses (Hayes & Preacher, 2011) suggested that both problem-focused and emotion-focused coping mediate the relationship between childhood abuse experiences and current trauma symptoms. The implications of these results are discussed.



© Copyright 2012 Aryn Violet Ziehnert