07:34pm Thursday 19 October 2017

New study investigates the psychological impacts of domestic violence

Claire Troon

Masters student: Claire Troon will be examining domestic violence for her masters thesis.

Specifically, Claire will investigate how men who are perpetrators of domestic violence perceive the effects of violence on children, the mothers of those children and on their own role as parents. The research will also consider the far-reaching effects of psychological abuse and other tactics of power and control.

Scholarship recipient

Claire’s been awarded a $500 scholarship by the Waikato Health Memorabilia Trust, made available from the sale of an edited collection of writing called Changing Times, Changing Places: From Tokanui to Mental Health Services in the Waikato, 1910-2012.

Alongside her masters, Claire is in the second year of Waikato University’s three-year clinical psychology programme. Her masters research is being conducted through the Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project (HAIP) and fits in tidily with the criteria for the new award, aligning with the government’s strategic direction noted in Rising to the Challenge: The Mental Health and Addiction Service Development Plane 2012-2017.

Claire has interviewed nine men who are attending HAIP and carried out two focus groups with women who are victims of domestic violence. She now has to write up the results of her research.

Future directions

“Long-term I’m interested in working for the Department of Corrections – with the offender population,” says Claire. “I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do psychological testing for Corrections and observe the facilitation of the stopping violence programme through HAIP.”

She anticipates that her research will also reveal stories of recovery through the healing processes that women and children have experienced and in particular, those that occur within the mother-child and father-child relationships.

“There needs to be on-going reflection on how community organisations, such as HAIP, can have a positive impact on the safety and wellbeing of victims of domestic violence and increase offender accountability. So programme evaluation is another important dimension of my research,” she says.

Claire plans to complete her masters thesis before the end of the year, and next year will do a full-year internship as part of her clinical psychology degree.

The University of Waikato – Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato


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