Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted (Opt-Out)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Second Department


First Advisor

Dr. D. Catherine Walker

Second Advisor

Dr. Ilene Kaplan


Adverse Childhood Experience, Domestic Violence, Partner Violence, Trauma. Victimization


Adverse childhood experiences (various types of trauma experienced at an early age) have been linked with domestic violence victimization and perpetration throughout life (Reavis et al., 2013). One’s evaluation of his or her body also is impacted by various types of abuse, suggested by development of psychopathology and disordered eating patterns in trauma victims (Treuer et al., 2005). Domestic violence shelter residents commonly report experiences of adverse childhood events, low self-esteem, and body image concerns. In order to better counsel domestic violence perpetrators and victims, it is important to understand the link between adverse childhood events, intimate partner violence, self-esteem, and body esteem in both men and women. Very little of domestic violence treatment used in local shelters focuses on body esteem. If body esteem is a significant issue for victims of domestic violence, new treatments and therapies can be targeted for these concerns. Data were collected from 574 Amazon Mechanical Turk users from several established psychological measures to create models of the complex relationships that exist between various traumatic experiences and psychosocial characteristics. Qualitative analysis was conducted in the local community in which professionals whose agencies work extensively with trauma were interviewed regarding their agency's practices concerning trauma and the actual problems that are observed. Quantitative results suggest a significant relationship between higher levels of v intimate partner violence perpetration and high levels of intimate partner violence victimization experiences of both men and women, reflecting the cyclical nature of domestic violence. Results also indicate a significant relationship between more adverse childhood experiences and higher intimate partner violence victimization rates in both men and women. Higher evaluations of one’s upper body strength and a larger BMI are also significantly related to perpetration by men, while higher evaluations of one’s sexual attractiveness (a component of body esteem) is significantly related to intimate partner violence perpetration by women. Low self-esteem is also significantly related to being a victim of intimate partner violence in women. Qualitative feedback was consistent with quantitative results.

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