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Validation of the Battered Woman Syndrome Questionnaire, Spanish Version

Grant Winners

  • Tom Kennedy, Ph.D. – College of Psychology
  • Lenore Walker, Ed.D. – College of Psychology
  • Wendy Cook, B.S. – College of Psychology
  • Danielle Millen, B.A. – College of Psychology


  • Karen Grosby, Ed.D. – College of Psychology


Award Winners

The aim of this study is to empirically validate the Battered Woman Syndrome Questionnaire in Spanish (BWSQ-S). We will partner with the National Institute for Women (INAMU) in Costa Rica due to their interest in collaboration and the large population of women survivors of Intimate Partner Violence that they serve. Although the primary objective is to validate this BWSQ-S, we will also explore:

The short and long term psychological impact of domestic violence for women across cultures.

Cross-cultural factors related to victimization, length of the relationship, and ability to seek help.

BWSQ-S includes measures designed to assess the psychological impact from interpersonal trauma, the role of gender ideology, the effects of betrayal and single or multiple traumas, and the role of attachment theory all of which address the objectives listed above. In addition to the primary analysis, we will use descriptive statistic s and principal component analysis, to determine:

  1. If the theoretical constructs in the BWSQ-S "hang together" to demonstrate the constellation of psychological effects called The Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS).
  2. If multiple types of trauma result in a more severe or long-term symptom constellation for the battered woman than the trauma of domestic violence alone.
  3. If there exists a similar theme across cultures of predisposing factors, that keep a woman in a battering relationship, and factors that empower her to find safety.

Few empirically validated assessment or treatment protocols have been studied or implemented to provide psychological help to victims of domestic violence. The results of this project will not only allow for the development of a valid instrument, but also may serve to inform appropriate treatment protocols and theoretical conceptualizations of Spanish Speaking battered women. Through the dissemination of this research, we hope to integrate these important findings into the current intervention programs in mental health centers, battered women shelters, forensic services and other community agencies.

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