Main Research Portfolio: Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
: 1) Critical Review of the Literature: Mental contamination and trauma: a systematic review of the literature; 2) Service Improvement Project: Staff experiences of using non-violent resistance in a residential care home for young people with high risk behaviours; 3) Main Research Project: "Danny's not well"; public understanding of intimate partner violence in the context of military veteran status and PTSD.

  • Jessica Mackinnon

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Intimate Partner Violence (I both within and around the organisation. PV) represents a significant public and social health concern and may present particular complexities in military veteran relationships.  These may be subject to unique stressors including periods apart, the transition to civilian life and the increased ri sk of PTSD.  Public understanding is vital in terms of ensuring timely access to services, and appropriate professional support.  However, little is known about the public perception of IPV in a military veteran context.  This study sought to address the g ap in the literature by assessing how public recognition and discourse is affected by military veteran status and a diagnosis of PTSD.  Community participants (N=269) were allocated to one of four conditions and randomly presented with a story containing IPV in which the job role (military veteran / c ivilian worker) and diagnostic status (PTSD/ No PTSD) were manipulated.  All participants rated the extent to which the story contained IPV, and half (n=123) took part in a story completion task designed to elicit qualitative data with regards to public discourse.  Quantitative results indicated a small interaction between job role and PTSD (F[1,265]=7.888, p <0.01, partial n 2 = 0.029) meaning that the public are more likely to recognise IPV when it is perpetrated by a military veteran than a civilian PTSD with , and less likely to recognise abuse perpetrated by a civilian with PTSD, than without.  Qualitative data indicated that t he public are less likely to acknowledge controlling behaviour compared to threats of violence and that PTSD may be cited as a mitigating factor for IPV.  Training is required to ensure professionals recognise non physical forms of abuse, and campaigning should address discourses which prioritise the needs of a military veteran perpetrator with PTSD, over those of the victim.
Date of Award8 Sept 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorCatherine Hamilton-Giachritsis (Supervisor), Peter Jakob (Supervisor), Claudia Kustner (Supervisor) & Rachel Paskell (Supervisor)

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