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Qual Health Res. 2003 May;13(5):597-622.

Intrusion: the central problem for family health promotion among children and single mothers after leaving an abusive partner.

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  • 1Faculty of Nursing, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.


Like other single-parent families, those consisting of mothers and their children who leave abusive partners/fathers are broadly viewed a deficient, high-risk structures in which children are susceptible to multiple problems. The mechanisms of strength and vulnerability in these families are poorly understood, and, consequently, their health promotion processes remain virtually unexplored. In a feminist grounded theory study of health promotion processes of single-parent families after leaving abusive partners/fathers, the authors discovered intrusion to be the basic social problem as families strive to promote health in the aftermath of abuse. The authors discuss the complex nature of intrusion, demonstrating how health is socially determined, and the challenges of health promotion in terms of the issues and dilemmas faced by study families and consider implications for health promotion knowledge and practice.

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