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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Abused women’s use of social support in a transition house Henderson, Angela Deidre


The purpose of this study was to determine: What are women's perceptions of their need for social support in a transition house? and, In what way do women's past experiences in close relationships influence their perceptions of their use of social support? The participants were eight physically abused women who were in the process of leaving a violent relationship. Data were collected in a total of 19 interviews conducted in the participants' homes after they left the transition house. A phenomenological research methodology was used because this approach allowed the women to explore, in depth and in their own words, the meanings their experiences held for them. The data were analyzed as they were collected, and recurring themes were identified and validated by the participants. Analysis of these themes led to the identification of a process called Framework for Use of Social Support. Another major finding was that women had different needs, depending on what stage they had reached in the process. Findings also supported the conclusion that women's past experiences in close relationships had an impact on the way they used social support. The last major finding was that the children of these women were not having their needs met during their time in the transition house and that this represents a major deficit in the service.

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