Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Elin Ovrebo

Committee Member

Suzanne H. Lease

Committee Member

Catherine A. Simmons

Committee Member

Douglas C. Strohmer


Intimate partner violence (IPV) in the United States is a widely prevalent issue that impacts men and women, individuals of diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds, and individuals in heterosexual and same-sex couples. The present investigation examined whether mental health trainees' perceptions of an IPV scenario varied based on how the race and sexual orientation of the couple was described. The 150 mental health graduate student participants were randomly assigned a vignette depicting an IPV situation where the partners were described as 2 African American males, 2 White males, 2 African American females, 2 White females. Participants were asked to rank their most preferred treatment recommendations for the victim, and participants' levels of ethnocultural empathy and gender role stereotypes were investigated as potential predictors of IPV perceptions. No significant differences were found in IPV perceptions or treatment recommendations based on how the race and sexual orientation of the couple was described. Ethnocultural empathy and gender role stereotypes were both found to be significantly correlated with perceptions of the IPV scenario, but only gender role stereotypes was found to account for a significant amount of unique variance in IPV perceptions when controlling for ethnocultural empathy. Several demographic variables were significantly related to ethnocultural empathy, gender role stereotypes, and domestic violence beliefs. The findings and implications for mental health graduate training are discussed.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

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