A journey from survival to survivor, a descriptive account of women's experiences of coping with abuse

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Bolster, Joanna M.
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The purpose of this study was to increase the understanding of the coping process for adult survivors of domestic abuse by considering three phases of the abuse experience: childhood experiences, adult experiences, and current functioning. Ten second-order themes emerged from the women's data. These included: Growing Up..., Common Features of Childhood Coping, Coping through Self-Control as a child, Coping through Connection as a child, As an Adult, Common Features of Adult Coping, Coping through Self-Control as an Adult, Coping through Connection as an Adult, Process of Change, and Current Appraisal. Through a discussion of these themes, three overarching themes were threaded throughout the women's responses and across the developmental time periods. Themes of low self-worth and self-blame (disturbance of self), defensive coping styles (affect regulation), and the need for connection yet the fear of intimacy (interpersonal relations) were presented as summary themes and connected with the supporting literature. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)