Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Christine Fiore

Commitee Members

Duncan Campbell, James Caringi, David Schuldberg, Jennifer Waltz, Nadine Wisniewski


Behavioral Self-Regulation, Goals, Intimate Partner Violence, Positive Expectancies, Relationship Abuse


University of Montana


According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics 21.5% of women and 3.6% of men were identified as victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) between 2001 and 2005 (Catalano, 2007). However, it is likely that these are underestimated rates due to un-reported incidents of IPV. A national survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention found that 35.6% of women and 28.5% of men reported having experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some time in their life (Black, Basile, Breiding, Smith, Walters et al., 2011). Several attempts have been made to address the problem of IPV and increase understanding of the processes related to ending or changing violent relationships (e.g., Anderson, 1997; Burke, Gielen, McDonnell, O'Campo, & Maman, 2001; Little & Kantor, 2002; McPhail, Busch, Kulkarni, & Rice, 2007). Additional research addressing the process through which violence occurs may further our knowledge regarding how to intervene in and prevent IPV. Previous research has suggested that stress and coping models, in particular, Scheier and Carver's (2003) model of behavioral self-regulation, may be useful in understanding relationship violence (Armstrong & Fiore, 2010). Studies using aspects of this model have been found to be effective in describing the influence of positive expectancies, goals, and goal changes on the behaviors of individuals coping with cancer (Scheier & Carver, 2001), AIDS (Moskowitz, Folkman, Collette, & Vittinghoff, 1996) and heart disease (Boersma, Maes, Joekes, & Dusseldorp, 2006). However, this model has yet to be applied to the stress and coping that accompanies relationship violence. The following study applies Scheier and Carver's model of behavioral self-regulation to better understand the influence of positive expectancies, goals, and coping on relationship violence in a community sample of young adults (ages 18-25).



© Copyright 2012 Geniel H. Armstrong