Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Clinical Psychology

Committee Chair

J. Gayle Beck

Committee Member

DeMond Grant

Committee Member

Kathryn H. Howell

Committee Member

Catherine Simmons


The experience of intimate partner violence (IPV) is a type of trauma that can greatly affect health and social functioning. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression are the two most common mental health problems that develop following IPV. IPV is also commonly associated with negative self-based emotions (shame and guilt) and lower levels of perceived social support. Few empirical studies have examined the unique impact that negative self-based emotions have on the maintenance of PTSD and depression, and the role that social support may have on these associations following IPV. This report will address the gaps in the current research and examine how social support may intervene in the association between negative self-based emotional states and mental health functioning. The present study included 152 help-seeking female IPV survivors. Results indicated that shame and guilt were significantly associated with both PTSD and depression. As well, shame and guilt were negatively associated with social support. There was a significant indirect associated noted between shame and guilt via social support such that higher perceptions of social support were associated with lower levels of shame and depression. No other significant indirect associations emerged. These results suggest that negative self-based emotions may contribute to mental health problems after IPV. Future interventions for IPV survivors should make an effort to address negative self-based emotions for women experiencing symptoms of both depression and PTSD. Additionally, interventions geared at increasing perceptions of social support may also help in alleviating post-trauma depression. Results are discussed in light of these findings.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.