Making Meaning Out of Interpersonal Victimization The Narratives of IPV Survivors

Ban Hong Phylice Lim, Christine E. Valdez, Michelle M. Lilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research examining meaning-making in the aftermath of interpersonal victimization among women has been restricted by quantitative methods and a focus on single distressing event. Qualitative methods were used to inspect meaning-making cognitions among a community sample of IPV (intimate partner violence) survivors. Consensus coding resulted in eight categories of meaning-making. The most widely endorsed cognition was self-blaming. Other strategies included justification for the abuser, normalizing violence, attribution to karmic or godly intervention, minimization and social comparison, reappraisal/opportunity for growth, absence of a protective figure, and failure to make sense of abuse. Implications with respect to adaptiveness and intervention are discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalViolence Against Women
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • meaning-making
  • cognitions
  • intimate partner violence
  • interpersonal trauma


  • Psychiatry and Psychology
  • Psychology

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