Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Van Valey

Second Advisor

Dr. Lewis Walker

Third Advisor

Dr. David Hartmann

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The purpose of this thesis was to identify correlates of support for the involvement of local public health departments in the prevention of violence against women. The research is a secondary analysis of data from community leaders in the 50 public health catchment areas throughout Michigan.

A total of 525 community leaders were identified by health officers and were mailed surveys that dealt with a wide range of health policy issues. Three hundred and fifty-one surveys were returned.

The analysis were designed to determine which factors would affect support for treating violence against women as a public health issue. A step-wise multiple regression produced a model that included two attitudinal factors, viewing interpersonal violence as a personal and private matter and believing that prevention programs work, and one demographic variable, gender. These three items explained 25% of the variance in the dependent variable. Women are more likely than men to be involved in the issues of violence against women and to support the involvement of public health in efforts to reduce violence against women in their communities. Also, participants in violence against women programs tend to oppose public health moving into their field. Public health will have to address the issue of resources, both financial and support for programs, before it can successfully intervene in the issue of violence against women.