Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Adult Health Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. Barbara J. Munjas


History can provide some clues concerning the physical abuse of women by men. Beginning in biblical times, women were viewed as the property of men (Steinmetz, 1977). Until 1824 by law, a man was allowed to strike his wife if provoked (Bell, 1977). Under the law, some states still grant "spouse immunity" in cases of assault and battery, where married couples are involved.The focus of this research was to examine the problem of wife abuse through the perspective of social learning theory. Using Roy's theory of adaptation (Roy, 1976), the investigator also examined the area of self-concept as it related to abused women. On the basis of the question,'What is the relationship between self-concept and locus of control in physically abused women?" the investigator surveyed a sample of 26 abused women to identify possible correlations among these variables.Twenty-six subjects constituted the sample. Twenty-five of these subjects provided information concerning demographic attributes. Data collection consisted of a semi-structured interview between investigator and subject, followed by completion of the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale and Rotter Internal/External Scale. Four situation-specific questions were administered following the Rotter Scale. Data were analyzed descriptively for the subject attributes. The Spearman's Rank Correlation Coefficient was used to test the major hypothesis.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Nursing Commons