Adults' experiences in psychologically abusive intimate partner relationships
Little is known about adults' experiences of psychological abuse in intimate relationships. Complexities about this subject include: 1), psychological abuse is not acknowledged as seriously as physical and sexual abuse but often accompanies or leads to them, and 2), although rates of psychological abuse in relationships is equally common among men and women, there is little research comparing the experiences between genders. This qualitative study explores the perceptions and meanings of abuse through the experiences of men and women who identify themselves as being or having been in psychologically abusive intimate relationships. The obtained data are 30+ personal narratives from publicly accessible internet websites dedicated to verbal, mental, or emotional abuse. This study will utilize thematic analysis. Preliminary findings suggest men and women experience psychological abuse in various ways that is consistent with previous research on IPV among women. Men and women experience interpersonal conflict in issues of control including jealousy, privacy, social contacts, affection, finances, constant criticisms, and threatssome facilitated through electronic devices. Men and women experience intrapersonal conflict in feeling relentless terror, experiencing changes in personality, experiencing negative health consequences, struggling to end relationship, and seeking support. Some participants suggest their partners' actions resulted from prior trauma or mental health and personality disorders. Notably, men report feeling society turns a blind eye when men are victims of violence, leaving them with few support resources. These results are being confirmed by other coders. This study will contribute important insight and awareness of psychological IPV, and help inform treatment.
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the perceptions, meanings, and definitions of psychological abuse through the lived experiences of men and women who identify themselves as being or having been in psychologically abusive intimate relationships.
Provide insight, awareness, and recognition of psychological IPV, and inform treatment for this form of domestic abuse.
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Raisa Garcia is a PhD Clinical Psychology student, APHA Maternal and Child Health Section student fellow, and former HRSA intern. She presented on the link between psychological partner violence and PTSD at the 2012 Science of Eliminating Health Disparities Summit. Eduardo Morales, Distinguished Professor, is a fellow for several APA divisions including Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues, Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, Society for Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.