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Qual Health Res. 2005 Apr;15(4):477-501.

Strengthening capacity to limit intrusion: theorizing family health promotion in the aftermath of woman abuse.

Author information

  • 1University of Western Ontario, London, Canada. mfordg@uwo.ca


Children's health is a key factor in women's decisions to leave abusive partners, yet how these families promote their health after leaving is poorly understood. In this feminist grounded theory study, the authors conducted repeat interviews with 40 single-parent families that had left abusive partners/fathers and analyzed the data using constant comparative methods. Findings reveal the central problem faced by families is intrusion, unwanted interference in everyday life that stems from abuse and its fallout. Over time, families promote their health through the basic social process of strengthening capacity to limit intrusion via four subprocesses: providing, regenerating family, renewing self, and rebuilding security. Depending on the degree of intrusion, the focus strengthening capacity shifts between practical goals of surviving and more proactive efforts directed toward positioning for the future. This theory adds to our knowledge of the long-term consequences of IPV for families and provides direction for practice and policy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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