Abuse experiences, perceptions, and associated decisions during the childbearing cycle

Kristin F. Lutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The study purpose was to generate a theoretical understanding of women's experiences and perceptions of intimate partner abuse during the childbearing cycle. Dimensional analysis, a grounded theory method, was used. Twenty-one interviews were conducted with 12 women who were (a) currently in an abusive relationship with an intimate male partner and pregnant or postpartum (n = 5) or who had (b) experienced abuse by an intimate male partner during a past pregnancy or postpartum (n = 7). Disparities between the two concurrent phenomena of abuse and pregnancy led women to feel as though they were living two separate lives. Pregnancy provided the impetus for reinvesting in the partnered relationship and constructing a family. Leaving an abusive relationship was not considered unless the partner ended the relationship first or the woman perceived an increased risk of danger. Postpartum up to 2 years after birth was a critical transitional time for women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-824
Number of pages23
JournalWestern journal of nursing research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Domestic violence
  • Intimate partner abuse
  • Obstetrical care
  • Pregnancy
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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