Date of Award
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
This study examined the effect of physical battering on the neuropsychological functioning of women. Twenty-five battered women and twenty-five non-battered women were administered a neuropsychological screening battery (11 separate tests, yielding 16 variables) to assess for possible deficits in the areas of attention/concentration, memory, visual-perceptual skills, sensory-motor skills, novel problem solving, and verbal fluency. All participants completed a demographic questionnaire, a post-concussive syndrome checklist, and a questionnaire evaluating for the presence of depressed mood and possible effects of depression. Potential participants with a history of previous head injury (occurring from a source other than battering) or other neurological disorders were excluded from the study. Groups were matched for age, level of education, and ethnicity.
A Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) was employed to test overall group differences considering all 16 neuropsychological variables collectively. The resulting analysis revealed significant group differences F(7,50) = 7.30, p<.0001 (Wilks Lambda =.21). There was a significant difference between groups with regard to depressed mood, t(45) = 4:07, p<.0001, with battered women obtaining higher scores on a depressed mood questionnaire. Therefore, a Multivariate Analysis of Covariance was performed on the 16 neuropsychological dependent variables, controlling for the effect of depressed mood. There was a significant difference between groups on 12 of the 16 variables. When applying clinical criteria, battered women exhibited impairment on a larger number of test than controls, F(1,49) = 72.14, p<.0001. No significant correlation was found between the number of test on which battered women participants were impaired and the number of years in which the relationship was physically abusive, r = -.16. Similarly, the correlation between the number of battering episodes within the past month and number of measures on which a bettered women was impaired was not significant, r =.07. Battered women endorsed a greater number of symptoms on a postconcussive syndrome checklist than did control participants, t(48) = 4.48, p<.0001.
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Tiernan, Mona M..
"Neuropsychological Assessment of Battered Women"
(1996). Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), Dissertation, Psychology, Old Dominion University, DOI: 10.25777/z4dc-0d95