College of Arts & Sciences

Date of Award

Spring 5-2002

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Kay Ketzenberger, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Spencer Thompson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jaime Aguila, Ph.D.


The present study consisted of semi-structured interviews of formerly battered women who have been out of the relationship for at least one year. The interviews focused on the women’s narratives concerning their experience leaving the relationship and were coded for affect using an Emotional Adjective Checklist. A total of 10 women were recruited from the campus of The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. While each story was unique, a pattern did emerge whereby the women expressed feelings of fear and relief, followed by depression, numbness, and resolve to survive. Long term emotional consequences of the abuse that persisted included fear/anxiety, anger, and loneliness, most often associated with joint parenting after leaving a spouse. While the process was tumultuous at times, the women also described recuperative emotional moments which lead to healing.



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