An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the impact of domestic violence on the mother-child relationship

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Macleod, Fiona
  • Subject: BF636 | HQ0759

There is a dearth of literature examining mothers’ experiences of mothering in the context of domestic violence (DV), and their perception both of the difficulties they face with regard to parenting their children, and how their own relational history influences their parenting. This research utilised Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to understand the experiences of seven women living in refuge, and their perceptions of how their relationships with their children had been impacted by the domestic violence. Four super ordinate themes emerged: the perceived influences of their own childhood experiences; transition; relationship to the individual child or children, and emotional regulation and trauma in the mother-child relationship. The findings have clinical implications for therapists and agencies working with mothers transitioning out of DV relationships, and highlight the importance of providing resources as well as respecting and reinforcing women’s personal agency. These findings add to the emergent literature on the attachment relationship within the DV context.
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