Date of Award:

1998

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Frank R. Ascione

Abstract

This was a descriptive study that examined the relation between domestic violence and pct abuse. Participants were questioned about their styles of conflict resolution with partners and how pets were treated in the home. Information was gathered using the Conflict Tactics Scale, and three surveys were developed for this study: the Battered Partner Shelter Survey, Families and Pets Survey, and the Child 's Observations and Experience with Pets. Four groups were recruited: (a) women in crisis shelters who chose to include one of their children in the study (.n = 39), (b) women in crisis shelters who did not include one of their children in the study (n = 62), (c) women who had not been subjected to domestic violence and chose to share information about one of their children (.n = 30), and (d) women who had not been subjected to domestic violence and did not provide information about one of their children (.n = 30). Mothers who chose to include one of their children in the study completed a Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for that child. Five shelters in the state of Utah--Logan, Brigham City, Ogden, Salt Lake City, and Provo--were included. Data collection in the shelters occurred over 17 months. Participants in the comparison group were recruited via newspaper advertisements in the Herald Journal in Logan.

Analyses of the data confirmed the coexistence of domestic violence and pet abuse . The results revealed that the severity of threats and abuse toward pets, and the severity of violent means of interpartner conflict resolution escalate in a parallel manner . However , many of the male partners who become violent toward women have a history of pet abuse that precedes their relationship with the woman. This study increased awareness of the coexistence of these two types of violence both as it was run and as a source for future professional presentations. The importance of this study and implications for future research are discussed.

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