Domestic Violence Negative Impact on the People Psyche

Research Question and Hypothesis

Our project delves into interpersonal relations in families, aggressive behaviors demonstrated by one of the members, and the impact these actions might have on children, their socialization, and their future life. The central research question of our project is whether children who have experienced domestic violence demonstrate irreversible changes in their mentalities that shift their behaviors to deviant or undesired ones, and how the negative effect of aggression could be mitigated using modern approaches suggested by psychologists.

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The given research question remains topical regarding the tendency towards the further rise in the number of violent behaviors in different types of families (Roark, Knight, Olson, & DeSandre, 2016). Therefore, the focus of the research stipulates the formulation of the following hypothesis:

Children living in households that suffer from domestic violence are characterized by the emergence of undesired behaviors such as aggression, asociality, reserved demeanor, problematic communication with peers, and high victimization.


The nature of the research question and hypothesis impacts the choice of participants. The target population will be comprised of children who have ever experienced domestic violence or suffered from aggressive behaviors demonstrated by one of the family members (Swanston, Bowyer, & Vetere, 2013). The selection of this population will help to collect credible data related to the issue and analyze it. The desired sampling size is 20 individuals aged from 9 to 13 who will agree to provide their personal information for the research.

Participants will be recruited resting on their negative experiences of violent behaviors and the desire to take part in the research. They should be guaranteed complete anonymity, and their basic human rights should be considered. Participants could be selected among children who visit a psychotherapist or are on file with local social services.


Any research project presupposes the introduction of specific variables that should be studied to determine the impact the investigated phenomenon has on outcomes or analyzed state. Regarding the nature of the project and research question, there are independent and dependent variables. The first one could be defined as an aspect that is controlled during research and impacts the tested phenomena (Cozby & Bates, 2014).

Is such a way, the environment in participants families, relations between its members, and cases of domestic violence become the independent variable. It could be measured with the help of specific interviews with participants. They should provide information about relations in their families and list all cases of aggressive behavior. Additionally, social services reports could be used to determine the independent variable and measure it (incidence, frequency, consequences) (Rasool, 2015). It means that the quantitative method supported by the statistical analysis should be used to assess this issue and determine its negative effect.

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As for the dependent variable, it is the aspect that is measured and tested in the course of a particular study (Goodwin & Goodwin, 2016). Regarding our hypothesis, childrens behaviors become this very issue. It is critical to investigate the way independent variables (violent behavior) impact the participants personality and what alterations emerge under the impact of the negative environment within the family.

In this regard, its efficient measurement becomes central to the project. Specially constructed questionnaires encompassing all spheres of participants activities and behaviors (relations with peers, family members, socialization, victimization, etc.) should be designed in terms of the qualitative phenomenological research. Additionally, peers of individuals who participate in the project should be interviewed to collect data about their social skills and relations with other children. Using this approach, we will be able to trace alterations in childrens mentalities, and personalities that emerge under the impact of domestic violence and that results in the development of undesired behaviors and victimization.

Research Design

The primary aim of this research is the investigation of the effect domestic violence has on children and their behavior. That is why the mixed qualitative-quantitative research design is chosen. First, statistical methods and quantitative data are needed to determine the independent variable and cases of domestic violence. Second, as far as we are focused on the investigation of particular experiences that result in shifts in participants mentalities and behaviors, the qualitative method supported by the phenomenological research is explored (Morling, 2014).

It will help to collect needed information using the interview and process it to prove or refute the hypothesis. This design provides numerous opportunities for analyzing the outlined variables and their discussion. Additionally, the ethical character of the researched issue and its negative impact on individuals stipulate the use of the basic principles of correlational study that is focused on the investigation of relations between naturally occurring variables and the impact they have on each other (“Part I. Correlational versus experimental studies,” n.d.).

In the course of the study, participants will have to perform several activities. First, they have to give their informed consent to participate in the project. Second, they should share their private data by completing the questionnaire designed with the primary aim to trace alterations in their behaviors and how these changes could be associated with negative experiences or treatment children undergo in their families (Fox, Gadd, & Sim, 2014). Third, participants should be ready to take part in the face-to-face conversation with an interviewer to discuss some additional questions, share their personal experiences, and outline problems they face.

Finally, all data collected during the process should be evaluated and considered to determine whether there are negative alterations in childrens moods, mentalities, behaviors, relations with peers, and to what extent these changes are stipulated by aggressive actions of one or another family member. At the final stage of the study, parents or guardians of participates demonstrating deviant behaviors could be recommended to visit psychologists or use social services assistance to mitigate the negative impact of domestic violence and help children to socialize.

Ethical Issues

The character of this research presupposes the emergence of particular ethical concerns. First, domestic violence is a significant problem that has adverse effects on peoples psyche and their interaction with other individuals. Additionally, family members might prefer to conceal the problem not to deteriorate relations with the community (Rende, 2014). For this reason, the given study considers all these aspects. First, a correlational research design is chosen as the experiment would be unethical. Additionally, the three core principles of research in psychology are also taken into account (Goodwin & Goodwin, 2016).

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Researchers demonstrate respect for persons, their anonymity, and autonomy. All individuals have explained the nature of the project and give their informed consent. Second, the welfare of participants is protected as their previous experiences of domestic violence are investigated. Finally, all participants are treated fairly and equitably to ensure the credibility of the data. Observation of these principles guarantees the ethical character of this investigation and contributes to the enhanced relevance and feasibility of the main findings.


Cozby, P., & Bates, S. (2014). Methods in behavioral research (B&B psychology) standalone book. New York,NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Fox, C., Gadd, D., & Sim, J. (2014). Development of the attitudes to domestic violence questionnaire for children and adolescents. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 30(14), 2506-2525. Web.

Goodwin, K., & Goodwin, J. (2016). Research in psychology methods and design: Methods and design (8th ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.

Morling, B. (2014). Research methods in psychology: Evaluating a world of information (second edition) (2nd ed.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

Part I. Correlational versus experimental studies. (n.d.). Web.

Rasool,S. (2015). Help-seeking after domestic violence: The critical role of children. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31(9), 1661-1686. Web.

Rende, S. (2014). The relationship between a mother’s attitude toward domestic violence and children’s schooling outcomes in Turkey. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(14), 2548-2570. Web.

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Roark, J., Knight, K., Olson, H., & DeSandre, H. (2016). Predictors of child abuse charges within the context of domestic violence arrests. Crime & Delinquency, 63(13), 1777-1803. Web.

Swanston, J., Bowyer, L., & Vetere, A. (2013). Towards a richer understanding of school-age children’s experiences of domestic violence: The voices of children and their mothers. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 19(2), 184-201. Web.

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