Exploring the Impacts of Intimate Partner Violence on Emerging Adult Women’s Sense of Self: A Qualitative Case Study




Butler, Kathryn Laura

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Emerging adulthood, the period between 18 and 30 years of age, is particularly relevant for identity development. During this time, relational disconnections such as intimate partner violence (IPV) can inhibit the growth that occurs within interpersonal relationships. There has been little in-depth exploration of how emerging adult women describe the impacts of IPV on their sense of self. Using qualitative case study methodology, six young women shared their stories of IPV during open-ended narrative interviews and completed an exploration of their Possible Selves. Thematic analysis identified impacts of IPV relating to participants’ sense of self, future possible selves, and subsequent intimate relationships. The findings highlight participants’ self-descriptions of strength and resilience, as well as accounts of challenges and growth since the relationships ended. The findings have meaningful implications for theory and research on IPV for young women, and for counselling practice.



Intimate Partner Violence, Impact, Sense of self, Emerging Adulthood, Identity, Women, Relational Cultural Theory