Domestic violence survivors’ empowerment and mental health: Exploring the role of the alliance with advocates

Goodman, L. A.,
Fauci, J. E.,
Sullivan, C. M.
Year Published: 2016
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Volume: 86

Issue: 3
American Orthopsychiatric Association

Over the last 4 decades, residential and nonresidential domestic violence (DV) programs have been created in communities across the country to help survivors become safe. These programs emphasize the relationship between the advocate and survivor as critical to emotional well-being, yet little is known about the extent to which specific aspects of the advocate-survivor alliance are related to specific indicators of survivor well-being, or the factors that might mediate that relationship. In this study, the authors explored these issues in a diverse sample of help-seeking survivors (N = 370). Results from structural equation modeling showed that stronger alliance was associated with lower symptoms of both depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, through the mechanism of safety-related empowerment. Findings provide direction for both DV programs and future research on the nature and function of the alliance as a potential contributor to healing. Modified Author Abstract.

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