Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jill Stinson

Committee Members

Meredith Ginley, Andrea Clements, Stacey Williams


Research on intimate partner violence (IPV) and intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV) has largely focused on individual and dyadic-level risk factors, but recently studies have explored how the surrounding environment is associated with IPV/IPSV. Studies that have explored community-level variables typically only use IPV/IPSV samples and do not first compare indicators of IPV/IPSV to those of general crime in those same communities. To address these gaps, this study was conducted in two parts. Data were retrieved from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Reporting System, County Health Rankings and Roadmaps System, the US Census Bureau, and other sources. Study 1 first determined that aspects of gender inequality, specific socioeconomic variables, and health-related factors differentiated IPV/IPSV from community crime. Study 2 utilized multilevel modeling to further investigate the nested effects of IPV/IPSV on individuals within the larger community. Significant individual level variables included younger age, differences among relationship type, and drug use. At the community level, factors related to socioeconomics and children, firearm prevalence, and certain health-related factors (e.g., lack of health insurance) were important when comparing IPV/IPSV. Prevention and intervention efforts should improve healthcare access and medical IPV screening, target younger age groups, provide specific resources to improve socioeconomic status, and reduce excessive drug/alcohol use and firearm use in IPV/IPSV.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.