Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Development and Family Science


Human Development and Family Science

First Advisor

Hans Saint-Eloi Cadely


The current research explored the association between the effects of IPV victimization on mental health and identity exploration strategies of undergraduate college women. This study aimed to build on the existing literature by examining the associations between IPV and identity exploration strategies. The current study examined the following questions: (1) Does the experience of IPV relate to identity exploration strategies during emerging adulthood? (2) Does mental health explain the association between experiencing IPV and identity exploration strategies? Three forms of IPV were examined, psychological, physical, and sexual, along with the three identity exploration strategies, informational, normative, and diffuse-avoidant, with anxiety and depression treated as mediating variables. The research questions were examined using the bootstrap method to examine direct and indirect relationships between the predictors (psychological victimization, physical victimization, and sexual victimization), outcomes (informational identity style, normative identity style, and diffuse-avoidant identity style), and mediation variables (depression and anxiety) (Preacher & Hayes, 2004). Results from the study showed that anxiety and depression symptoms mediated the relationship between IPV victimization and the diffuse-avoidant identity style. Likewise, across all models all IPV variables were directly related to the diffuse-avoidant identity style and both mental health variables.



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