Rurality as Concordance: Mental Health Service Delivery for Rural Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

Michele Statz, Katie R. Billings, Jordan Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This manuscript examines how a shared sociospatial or “rural” identity may uniquely facilitate mental health care delivery. In particular, we consider the significant but largely unexplored role that domestic violence center staff, whom we term “Reputational Provider-Experts” or RPEs, play in addressing the mental health needs of rural women who have experienced intimate partner violence. Using data collected through semi-structured individual and focus group interviews with RPEs across 12 counties and four tribal reservations in northern Wisconsin (N = 15), we detail the sociospatial commonalities that enable RPEs to provide trusted, sustained mental health support to rural women. Because these advocates are rural community members whose approach implicitly appeals to local norms and values, we argue that they represent rurally concordant providers. In this way, rurality emerges as a meaningful and novel form of patient-provider concordance, one with critical relevance to addressing the rural mental health crisis in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-505
Number of pages21
JournalSociological Perspectives
Issue number3
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funded by the National Science Foundation’s Law and Sciences Program (award #1729117).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • culture
  • inequality
  • mental health
  • rural studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Rurality as Concordance: Mental Health Service Delivery for Rural Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this