A Mixed Methods Study of Participant Reaction to Domestic Violence Research in Jordan

Cari J Clark, Manal Shahrouri, Louma Halasa, Inaam Khalaf, Rachael Spencer, Susan Everson-Rose

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10 Scopus citations


Research on domestic violence against women has increased considerably over the past few decades. Most participants in such studies find the exercise worthwhile and of greater benefit than emotional cost; however, systematic examination of participant reaction to research on violence is considerably lacking, especially in the Middle East region. This study begins to fill this gap by examining women's reactions to domestic violence research in Jordan and whether a personal history of violence is associated with unfavorable experiences. This sequential exploratory mixed methods study included 17 focus group discussions (FGD) with women in Amman followed by a survey conducted in reproductive health clinics throughout the country (pilot n = 30; survey n = 517). Open coding was used to identify the theme related to participant reaction in the FGD data. This construct was further examined by the subsequent survey that included dichotomous questions inquiring whether the respondent thought the study questions were important and whether they were angry or felt resentment as a result of the survey. One open-ended question on the survey provided additional qualitative data on the theme that was combined with the FGD data. Themes identified in the qualitative data pertained to expressions of gratitude and comments on the survey's value. Findings of this study indicate that Jordanian women's responses to the research process are similar to women currently represented by the extant literature in that a vast majority of its participants felt that the study was important (95%) and it did not evoke anger or resentment (96%). Many even found the study to be useful to them personally or to society. Among those who had a negative emotional reaction, most still found the research to be important. This study's findings highlight the safety and potential benefits of ethically conducted violence research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1655-1676
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Funds for this study were provided by the American Center of Oriental Research/CAORC, the U.S. Student Fulbright Program, and various grants from entities at Harvard University (Committee on General Scholarships, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, and the Department of Global Health and Population). Support for Drs. Clark and Everson-Rose during preparation of this article was provided by the Program in Health Disparities Research at the University of Minnesota.

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • disclosure o.v.olence
  • domestic violence and cultural contexts
  • violence exposure


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