Research indicates there are a significant number of instances of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the United States, with current prevalence rates impacted by a substantial amount of underreporting due to stigma, difficulty disclosing, and complex love and fear of abusive partners (Breiding et al., 2014; Ellsberg & Heise, 2005; Overstreet & Quinn, 2013). A large body of IPV research exists more generally, but there is little understanding about the help-seeking behaviors of high socioeconomic status (SES) individuals within IPV shelter systems. While several studies have demonstrated the equal impact of abuse across demographic contexts (Satyen, Rogic, and Supol, 2018; Haselschwerdt & Hardesty, 2017), a larger body of research indicates lower SES and minority communities are impacted by abuse at disproportionate rates (Cunradi, Caetano, & Shafer, 2002; Panchanadeswaran & McCloskey, 2007). Most of the literature focuses on these populations, leading to a gap in understanding IPV in higher SES individuals, specifically alternative sources of support and potential barriers (Tolman & Raphael, 2000). This study aims to identify the unique needs, experiences, and assumptions of higher SES individuals, with a particular emphasis on physician survivors of IPV. A unique interplay of physician characteristics, hospital culture, and needs and challenges of these individuals serves as the backdrop for a qualitative study utilizing interview data collected from shelter staff. While this study is exploratory, the authors held the a priori assumption that few physicians would utilize services due to significant barriers impeding help seeking, including shame, stigma, and culture of the healthcare environment.

LLU Discipline





School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Maya Boustani

Second Advisor

Barbara Hernandez

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Attitude of health personnel; Help Seeking Behavior Evaluation; Intimate partner violence; Physicians--Psychology


Doctoral Project

Page Count

x, 78 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives