Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


This qualitative dissertation used a feminist methodology to explore parenting capacity and meaning making among a purposive sample of 16 female survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). The two research questions that guided this work centered on how women's exposure to IPV during both childhood and adulthood impacted parenting capacity. All participants for this dissertation experienced IPV during childhood as well as adulthood, and had at least one school-aged child. Participants completed semi-structured in-person interviews during which they were asked a series of questions about their experiences with IPV during childhood and adulthood as well as questions about their parenting practices. All interviews began with a storyboarding activity in which participants wrote, drew, or otherwise visually expressed parts of their experiences with IPV and parenting. Analysis revealed that parenting capacity as was described by participants could be categorized along two different dimensions: Relational Capacity, and Operational Capacity. Each dimension was distilled further into a total of four theoretical constructs which also included attendant subcategories further illustrating the findings. Overall, findings were complex and nuanced regarding how parenting capacity was impacted by IPV exposure throughout the lifespan and suggest that IPV survivors have an enhanced ability to relationally connect with their children. Future implications for research, policy, and practice are discussed.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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