The lived experience of witnessing marital violence in adolescent girls : a phenomenological study

Bennett, Lorna Ruth (1989) The lived experience of witnessing marital violence in adolescent girls : a phenomenological study. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

The primary aim of this study was to gain access to experiential aspects of living in a violent home through exploring the impact of family violence from the perspective of adolescent girls. The essential question asked was "What is it like to grow up in a violent home and what is the meaning of this experience?" The study included five participants between the ages of 15 and 24 years (only one participant was over the age of 20), who were recruited through the local shelter. Unstructured interviews that facilitated spontaneous verbal descriptions was the method of data collection. -- A phenomenological method of data analysis was used following the general outline of Giorgi (1975) with some procedural suggestions by Wertz (1985) and Fischer and Wertz (1979). This method involved a meaning unit approach based on analysis of transcribed audiotaped interview data. -- Common essential themes identified were: (a) participants experienced lived violence as an integrated whole, which encompassed different dimensions of family life, (b) participants described a sense of enduring the experience for a lifetime but paradoxically had difficulty recalling the violence. Participants also described, (c) the emotional reactions of fear, helplessness and loss, (d) behavioral reactions aimed at preventing or escaping from the violence, (e) a close bond with mother and/or siblings, (d)[sic] a need to make sense of or understand the violence and finally, (f) a need to resolve or "settle" the experience. -- Implications of the findings stress the need for assessment to take into account lived dimensions of the experience, in order to determine both the immediate and long term risk for mental health problems in this group.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5695
Item ID: 5695
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 201-208.
Department(s): Nursing, School of
Date: 1989
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Family violence; Marital violence; Teenage girls--Mental health; Parent and child
Medical Subject Heading: Spouse Abuse; Violence; Parent-Child Relations

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