Insight into Traumatic Brain Injury from Intimate Partner Violence: A Grounded Theory Study

St Ivany, Amanda, Nursing - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Bullock, Linda, School of Nursing, University of Virginia

Women living with traumatic brain injuries from intimate partner violence are receiving growing attention in research but little is known about the context of their lives, the nature of abuse when they are hit in the head, and how their symptoms of brain injury impact their lives. This constructivist grounded theory study using primary and secondary data analysis (N=19) explores the lives of women who pass out from being hit in the head during intimate partner violence. A theory of being stranded at the intersection of traumatic brain injury and intimate partner violence was generated, defined as experiencing challenges with one while trying to access resources for the other. The central process of women prioritizing safety for themselves and their children was influenced by dangerous characteristics of the abusers and repeating cycles of abuse in the lives of women. This dissertation adds to the understanding of traumatic brain injury as a chronic disease process and not a one-time event model. Researchers, healthcare workers, and policy makers need to begin to address the structural violence that keeps women from obtaining the resources they need to live a happy and healthy life.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
intimate partner violence, women, traumatic brain injury, intersectionality, structural violence
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