An exploration of the spiritual and psychosocial variables associated with husband-to-wife abuse and its effect on women in abusive relationships

David A. Katerndahl, Maria Luisa Obregon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose was to: 1) determine which aspects of religious belief incompatibility were associated with husband-to-wife abuse; 2) determine whether religious coping was independently associated with functional status among victims of spousal abuse; and 3) whether degree of abuse correlated with degrees of religious belief incompatibility or functional status among abused wives. Method: Couples were asked to complete a structured interview concerning marital satisfaction, argument frequency, alcohol use, witnessing violence as a child, spirituality, functional status, and domestic violence. Results: In four areas of spiritual belief (sense of being judged, closeness to God, congregational benefits, forgiveness), religious belief incompatibility significantly predicted abuse. Perceived congregational help and religious coping were associated with improved social support. Finally, abuse severity and duration correlated with functional status but not with degree of religious belief incompatibility. Conclusions: The addition of religious belief incompatibility may account for more variance in husband-to-wife abuse than non-spiritual predictors alone. Although the presence of abuse was associated with poorer functional status in women, religious coping was only linked to improved social support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
JournalInternational journal of psychiatry in medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 22 2007



  • Coping
  • Domestic violence
  • Marital incompatibility
  • Quality of life
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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