Domestic violence is a serious social problem that can have a devastating effect on women's social functioning and sense of power. Evaluation studies have shown that participating in domestic violence programs such as psychoeducational individual and group counseling can increase women's knowledge about abuse. Advocacy on behalf of women in shelters and in the community has also been shown to help women improve their mental health in areas such as assertiveness, self-esteem, social support, hope, locus of control, coping abilities, and self-efficacy. Although empowerment is consistently used as a major goal for services with battered women, no study has measured empowerment among battered women. In the literature empowerment has been used to describe services and interventions provided to or done on behalf of women rather than changes made by women. This study aimed to measure empowerment by measuring personal change through increased self-efficacy, assertiveness, and hope. It was hypothesized that women who received psychoeducational advocacy training would demonstrate a greater sense of empowerment than women who participated in the psychoeducational support group. It was also hypothesized that participants in both groups would exhibit increased knowledge about the dynamics of domestic violence and that women in the psychoeducational advocacy trailing would be more likely to participate in community advocacy. A total of 15 participants enrolled in the study. The small sample size limited the study to exploratory and descriptive analyses. The findings indicated that both interventions had an impact on women's sense of empowerment as demonstrated by increased levels of self-efficacy, assertiveness, and hope for the future. Women also showed increased knowledge of the dynamics of domestic violence and were more likely to participate in advocacy. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
|Commitee:||Farmer, G. Lawrence, Silverman-Yam, Beth|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Social work|
|Keywords:||Advocacy training, Assertiveness, Domestic violence, Empowerment, Self-efficacy|
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