Weiss, Nicole H

Advisor Department





Head Trauma, Emotion Dysregulation, Intimate Partner Violence, Emotion


The project I completed explores the relationship between head trauma and emotion dysregulation, or the inability to modulate the intensity and/or duration of emotional responses in a flexible manner in order to meet individual goals and situational demands (Gratz & Roemer, 2004), among victims of domestic violence. The rationale and importance of the project included the possibility that the findings of this study can inform future research in topics including head trauma, emotion dysregulation, and domestic violence. Despite evidence linking emotion dysregulation to both domestic violence and head trauma, no investigations to date have examined whether head trauma stemming from domestic violence relates to the emotion dysregulation seen in this population. Specifically, most of the research on emotion dysregulation has focused on life experiences (e.g., early abuse) as a precipitant. Therefore, it was hypothesized that the results of the current study may highlight the role of neurological factors in emotion dysregulation. Such findings would inform assessment and treatment procedures for this population. Consistent with my hypotheses, the data collected proved to be significant. My learning outcomes of this project were to proficiently use data software to analyze data, as well as to use scientific terminology to produce a well written research paper. As a first step, once I had completed data collection, I inputted the data into SPSS, developed syntax to score the study measures, and completed statistical analyses to answer the primary hypotheses. Following this, I conducted a literature review using scientific databases to identify studies that had examined the relations among head trauma, emotion dysregulation, and intimate partner violence; these findings informed the writing of the study introduction. Then, I described the rationale for the project, the study methods (i.e., what I did to prepare and obtain my data), and the results of the project (i.e., summary of the statistical analyses I conducted). Lastly, I wrote the discussion section, which placed the study findings in the context of the larger literature; explained the implications of the results for theory, research, and practice; and noted the limitations of the project.