Date of Award
PhD Counseling Psychology
Professional Psychology and Family Therapy
Jason Reynolds (Taewon Choi), Ph.D.
Pamela Foley, Ph.D.
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.
Bhattacharjee, Chiroshri, "Exploring the Effects of Witnessing Family Violence in Childhood Among South Asians in America" (2022). Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs). 3015.