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ERIC Number: ED512981
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 251
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-4834-0
Child-Witnesses of Domestic Violence: The Evolution of a Counseling Group
Thompson, Elizabeth Heather
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Virginia
A qualitative research design was used to explore the processes by which four child-witnesses of domestic violence made meaning of their experiences in a counseling group. A specific aim of this study was to determine if there were stages of group development that occurred in the counseling group with four young child-witnesses of domestic violence. A second goal was to determine if there were processes that occurred between and among four child-witnesses in a counseling group that facilitated the development of the group through a series of stages. Data collection consisted of observational data gathered over the course of 18, 45-minute group sessions for four child-witnesses of domestic violence between the ages of 6 to 7-years-old. Analytic induction was used to analyze the data collected from observational data taken from the group sessions. Group sessions were conducted in an urban elementary school in the Southeast. The data revealed that processes occurring between and among these four child-witnesses shaped the evolution of their counseling group through a series of stages that mirrored those of adult counseling groups. The data also revealed that developmental differences between children and adults contributed to the way in which these young members exhibited behaviors common to stages in adult counseling groups. Group counselors who work with young children who are exposed to domestic violence should be aware of the way in which developmental differences shape the relationship between group process and stage development in groups. A better understanding of group process and stage development of counseling groups for young child-witnesses may help group facilitators create, implement, and judge the progression of group counseling interventions that are sensitive to process as well as content. Lastly, the findings from this study revealed that young children are able to use the group setting to make sense of their experiences with domestic violence through art, play, group interactions, and narratives. The previous exclusion of the powerful and informative voices of child-witnesses limits our professional understanding of their experiences with domestic violence and the way in which they grow and heal in a therapeutic group setting. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A