Does Self-Blame Moderate Psychological Adjustment Following Intimate Partner Violence?

Catherine M. Reich, Judiann M. Jones, Matthew J. Woodward, Náthali Blackwell, Leslie D. Lindsey, J. Gayle Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This study explored whether self-blame moderates the relationship between exposure to specific types of abuse and both poor general psychological adjustment (i.e., self-esteem) and specific symptomatology (i.e., posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD]) among women who had experienced intimate partner violence (IPV). Eighty female IPV survivors were involved in this study. Results indicated that self-blame was negatively associated with self-esteem for physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. Self-blame moderated physical abuse, such that high levels of physical abuse interacted with high levels of self-blame in their association with PTSD. Nonsignificant models were noted for psychological and sexual abuse in association with self-blame and PTSD. These findings support the conceptualization that self-blame is associated with both general and specific psychological outcomes in the aftermath of IPV. Future research examining different forms of blame associated with IPV might further untangle inconsistencies in the self-blame literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1493-1510
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 30 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Support for this work is partially provided by the Lillian and Morrie Moss Chair of Excellence position (J. Gayle Beck).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2014.


  • intimate partner violence
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • self-blame
  • self-esteem
  • trauma


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