Examining the Correlates of Engagement and Disengagement Coping Among Help-Seeking Battered Women

National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, MA 02130, USA.
Violence and Victims (Impact Factor: 1.28). 02/2007; 22(1):3-17. DOI: 10.1891/vv-v22i1a001
Source: PubMed


This study examined several potential correlates of engagement and disengagement coping, including abuse-related factors, socioeconomic and social coping resources, and childhood trauma variables among a sample of battered women (N = 388). Relationship abuse frequency, particularly
psychological aggression, and peritraumatic dissociation were the strongest positive predictors of the use of disengagement coping. Social coping resources, including tangible support and appraisals of social support and belonging, were associated with higher engagement coping and lower disengagement
coping. A positive association was also found between interparental domestic violence and disengagement coping, and negative associations were found between both childhood physical and sexual abuse and engagement coping. Results suggest that coping strategies used by battered women are multidetermined
and deserve further exploration.

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Available from: Jill Panuzio Scott
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    • "Social support is arguably one of the most important resources for battered women (Goodman et al., 2005; Goodman & Epstein, 2005). Support seeking has been associated with the use of more effective coping strategies when dealing with partner abuse (Taft et al., 2007) as well as substantiating women's perspectives and sense of worth (Sabina & Tindale, 2008). Several of the participants indicated that others played a key role in their decision to leave by corroborating their perspective and experience in the relationship. "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research was to examine the decision-making process of battered women from a Narrative framework and to identify the major internal and external constructs (emphasizing unique outcomes, dominant cultural narratives, and support for new narratives) which allow for these women to re-story their lives. Several themes emerged indicating that the decision-making processes is dependent upon the ability to capture positive moments in their lives without allowing the perceived influence of dominant cultural narratives to override these moments. The process is further clouded by perception of available social networks and resources that support change of her narrative.
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    • "The general assumption related to this categorization is that engagement strategies are more adaptive than disengagement strategies. Taft et al.'s (2007a) first study showed that characteristics of the abuse were related to disengagement but not to engagement strategies. Their second study (Taft et al., 2007b) focused on the link between coping and mental health, and they found that, in general, mental health outcomes were related positively to engagement coping strategies and negatively to disengagement coping strategies. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to develop a conceptual framework for understanding the coping strategies used by women who are battered, drawing from the existing literature and qualitative interviews with 10 women seeking services in shelters for women who have been battered. This conceptual framework is needed to reflect the unique complexity of the nature of the chronic and acute stressors associated with battering. The results of the data analyses were integrated with the existing literature to form a model, The Coping Window. This model includes an external frame of contextual influences, as well as a Focus Axis (including emotion-focused and problem-focused coping strategies) and a Resource Axis (including intrapersonal and interpersonal coping strategies). The Coping Window model could be used in individual or group counseling and educational programs, and additional research is needed to refine this model.
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    ABSTRACT: The role of socioeconomic status (SES) in the prevalence and course of intimate partner violence (IPV) has been established, but mechanisms of this role are less clear. An untested assumption has been that women of greater resources are better able to seek help. This study used a national sample of 1,077 women who had experienced IPV to explore the role of income and education in helpseeking from hotlines, shelters, and police. The authors found that SES did not play a large role in the use of hotlines, the least often used service in this study. Women with more income were less likely to use shelters and were less likely to feel they should have used them. There was an interaction between income and severity of violence in predicting police use, such that severity of violence only predicted calling police among higher income women. This finding suggests the possibility of a lower threshold for reporting violence among the lowest income women. The authors discuss the need for research using a more diverse sample of women, and the need to fine tune services according to our emerging understanding of social context.
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