Adolescent Intimate Partner Violence: Exploring the Experiences of Female Survivors

  • Kirsty Mcgregor

Student thesis: Phd


This research contributes to existing knowledge of intimate partner violence (IPV) by highlighting the lived experiences of female adolescent survivors through the examination of the lived experiences of seventeen participants. Framed within an intersectional feminist epistemology and informed by psychoanalytical theories, a hybrid of the Free Association Narrative Interview method (Hollway and Jefferson, 2001) and the Biographical Interview Method (Wengraf, 2002) was applied, allowing an in-depth analysis of the young women's adolescent experiences of IPV. The female participants' narratives highlighted significant levels of psychological, sexual and physical violence by various male partners, suggesting that gender is indeed a mediating factor. These experiences reflect Johnson's Typologies of Domestic Violence (2008). In addition, consideration of other intersecting factors, such as age, socioeconomic demographic information, familial exposure to IPV and previous IPV victimisation, highlighted the necessity to consider all factors when determining risk and experience (Potter, 2015). This research adds to the debate regarding gender symmetry of IPV perpetration and victimisation, with analysis of participants' experiences suggesting gender symmetry is not experienced by all adolescents, thus further exploration of this phenomenon is required. Similarly, participants experienced severe forms of physical, sexual and psychological violence at each stage of adolescence (early 10 to 13 years; middle 14 to 16 years; late adolescence and young adulthood 17 to 25 years) contradicting the oft held assumption that more severe violence occurs solely in adulthood. Analysis of participants' experiences of informal and formal support, and an exploration of participants' ideal prevention intervention model argues for a public health approach to preventing AIPV, with resources focused on primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. Ultimately the young women felt that with appropriate education, support and intervention they could have avoided, or at least reduced, their exposure to abuse. Hence in order to reduce and/or prevent adolescents from experiencing IPV resources should be aimed at giving young people the information, skills and abilities to resist gendered inequalities and unhealthy relationship behaviours, and promote healthy and happy romantic and sexual relationships.
Date of Award31 Dec 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJo Deakin (Supervisor) & Caroline Miles (Supervisor)


  • Adolescent Intimate Partner Violence
  • Intersectionality
  • Adolescence
  • Domestic Violence
  • Narrative Interviews

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