University of Illinois Study Examines Why Women of Affluence Stay In Abusive Relationships

haselschwerdtA new study conducted at the University of Illinois finds that women from affluent households who are victims of domestic violence are often less likely to leave their spouses due to “pressures to maintain a facade of a perfect family and other values associated with a culture of affluence.” The study found that the culture of affluence – which emphasizes materialism, perfectionism and social status – provides implicit and explicit expectations for how families are expected to present themselves in public, and complicates women’s ability to seek help for domestic violence and other forms of abuse in their marriages.

The study was conducted by lead author Megan L. Haselschwerdt as part of her doctoral thesis in human development and family studies. Dr. Haselschwerdt is now an assistant professor at Auburn University in Alabama. Her co-author and thesis advisor is Jennifer Hardesty, a professor of human development and family studies at the University of Illinois.

The article, “Managing Secrecy and Disclosure of Domestic Violence in Affluent Communities,” was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/StudySexual Assault/Harassment


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