“Playing on my emotions with regards to my mental health”: A qualitative exploration of intimate partner violence among college students with disabilities Restricted; Files Only

Warren, Elise (Spring 2022)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/3484zj18b?locale=en


Objective: College students with disabilities are at higher risk of intimate partner violence (IPV) and adverse outcomes after experiencing violence. Few studies have qualitatively examined experiences of IPV among college students with disabilities. Thus, this study seeks to examine these experiences, and explore intersections of ability status with IPV.

Methods: This secondary qualitative analysis was conducted within the context of a larger parent study. Semi-structured life-course perspective interviews were conducted with 41 college students who identified having a health condition that meets the ADA definition for disability. Students were asked about IPV, sexual violence, alcohol and substance use, and their health condition. Interviews were coded and analyzed using thematic analysis. Organization of results was informed by the Power and Control Wheel for People with Disabilities in Partner Relationships.

Results: Two themes emerged from the data: participants experienced multiple forms of violence, both disability-related and non-disability-related; and students experienced worsening symptoms and/or additional disability following IPV. Despite aligning with the Power and Control Wheel for People with Disabilities in Partner Relationships, the themes included nuanced patterns of IPV types.

Conclusions: The findings demonstrated that college students with disabilities face multiple complex forms of violence, some which may never be experienced by their abled peers. These multiple forms of violence may lead to worsening symptoms and/or additional disabilities for college students, suggesting that present-day siloed approaches to disability services, health services, and violence services may not be the most helpful and efficient approach. Rather, integrated campus service models may be needed to support students with multi-dimensional experiences of IPV.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Table of Contents


Chapter I: Introduction

Problem Definition

Contribution of the Current Study

Theoretical framework

Chapter II: Literature Review

IPV in the United States

IPV on College Campuses

IPV Among College Students with Disabilities

Outcomes of IPV Among College Students with Disabilities

Missing Identities

Power and Control Wheel

Research Question

Chapter III: Student Contribution

Parent Study

The Qualitative Sub-Study

Chapter 4: Manuscript





Chapter 5: Public Health Implications


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