Date of Award

Summer 8-8-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Counseling Psychology


Professional Psychology and Family Therapy


Jason Reynolds (Taewon Choi), Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pamela Foley, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pravina Nair, Psy.D.


domestic violence, transgenerational impact, South Asian women, cultural values, self-esteem, attachment


Incidents of domestic violence and its transgenerational impact within the South Asian community, although prevalent, are often dismissed as peripheral concerns due to various sociocultural and internalized psychological factors . This study explored the long-term effects of witnessing three types of interparental violence (psychological aggression, physical aggression, and injury) on participants’ self-esteem, attachment style, and conflict resolution abilities as adults. Cultural values conflict unique to the South Asian American community was used as a moderator to assess the relationship between participants’ self-esteem and degree of violence witnessed. Eighty-seven self-identified South Asian American women (age range = 20–40 years, M = 27.5) participated in the study by completing a survey with multiple questionnaires. Although the relationship between witnessing higher levels of domestic violence and the participants’ self-esteem or attachment style were not statistically significant, a significant effect was found between witnessing psychological aggression and participants’ conflict resolution abilities. Furthermore, descriptive statistics revealed insecure attachment style for majority of participants (n = 70). Incidental findings also showed a significant relationship between cultural values conflict and participants’ self-esteem. Overall, this study expands on existing literature around witnessing domestic violence and its lasting impacts and discusses unique cultural factors that can have important clinical implications.

Included in

Psychology Commons