Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Douglas V. Davidson

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Crawford

Third Advisor

Dr. Donald Cooney

Fourth Advisor

Dr. James Petersen


Domestic violence is an ongoing social problem. Many women have suffered from the abuse of spouses and boyfriends. A number of children have been victims, or witnesses of, this particular form of violence. The consequences of abuse are: preventable crimes, victims and witnesses becoming abusers themselves, escalating health and mental costs. Domestic violence has touched every community within the United States. It is not a social problem that sociological researchers can afford to minimize.

Sociological literature has documented the growth of the social problem of domestic violence. As a result of the awareness of domestic violence as a serious social problem, various communities have created intervention projects and assisted those affected by this type of violence. Women have received assistance to empower themselves against abusers. Victims have been assisted, law enforcement has been educated, agencies have been informed, and various programsfor the abuser have been initiated. The focus, currently, is to assess the worthiness of programs designed to prevent and intervene in the cases of domestic abuse. Some programs are designed to treat the abusers as outpatients. Some are designed to assess their problem within correctional facilities. Numerous researchers have analyzed the merits of such programs for domestic abusers. This dissertation is an attempt to apply a meta-theoretical analysis to suchprograms.

This dissertation is also an attempt to identify and define applied knowledge to the appropriate master theoretical base within the sociological literature. Theory is, itself, a cure for social ills when application is utilized. Many scholars have conducted brilliant research and published these efforts. Some sociologists may choose to read and improve on the theoretical foundations of these works. Other sociologists choose to learn and understand this material and also apply the knowledge to practical problems for the improvement of society. The focus of this dissertation is to identify the applicable theory and create a model to illustrate this working knowledge base.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access