Date of Award

January 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Heather Terrell


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a prevalent issue for women worldwide. Commonly, women who experience IPV will develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Given the high rates of reabuse experienced by the population of women who develop PTSD, this study aimed to explore how PTSD symptomology may contribute to women’s vulnerability to reabuse. The current study investigated whether PTSD and IPV history predicted threat perception hindrance—theorizing that dampened threat perception may contribute to reabuse vulnerability. Participants each read five vignettes representing five levels of threat severity within a relationship interaction to create a within-subjects design to test their threat perception. Regression and analysis of variance were used to determine if women with IPV histories or PTSD symptoms— broken up and analyzed by cluster—rated the vignettes as more or less threatening than those who did not endorse IPV histories and/or PTSD symptoms. Results showed that IPV histories and PTSD symptoms both contributed significantly to threat perception; however, PTSD symptoms contributed minimally and with much smaller effect sizes.