Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Social Work

First Advisor

Nelson Eugene Walls, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kimberly Bender

Third Advisor

Ramona Beltran

Fourth Advisor

Erin Willer


Domestic violence, Instrument development, Interdisciplinary collaboration, Intimate partner violence


Intimate partner violence is an epidemic that requires collaboration among responding professionals. As such, community coordinated responses, which unite responders from multiple IPV-serving agencies, have been suggested as a best practice. Despite their use over the past several decades, there is a lack of concrete evidence for their success. Moreover, problems noted among responders decades ago, such as differing philosophical beliefs around IPV, are still noted in more recent literature. Using an instrument-development variant of a fixed, exploratory, sequential mixed-methods design, this dissertation aimed to gain a better understanding of the collaboration experiences of IPV responders.

The qualitative sequence involved semi-structured interviews with 15 responders in disparate locations in Florida, representing roles of victim advocates/victim service providers, law enforcement professionals, prosecutors, and batterer intervention program providers. Participants made five primary attributions for IPV: perpetrator's desire for power and control, intergenerational violence/learned behavior, societal or cultural perpetuation, perpetrator-specific personality traits, and substance use. Participants also shared their experiences collaborating within the IPV responder network, noting several elements of successful collaboration, including specific aspects of the relationships responders have with one another (i.e., communication, support, trust, networking) and individual responder characteristics (i.e., passion, openness). More often, participants spoke of the challenges to successful collaboration, which are best described in one of four ways: phenomenological (e.g., lack of IPV knowledge); practical (e.g., differing agency philosophies, lack of funding); political (e.g., territorialism); and personal (e.g., lack of understanding of other roles). Finally, participants shared their suggestions for improvement (i.e., networking, openness, more education and training, better understanding of one another's roles).

Based on the qualitative findings, the Intimate Partner Violence Responder Collaboration Scale was developed. After undergoing expert review, the Scale was piloted with a larger, purposive, parallel sample of responders from disparate areas of the United States (N=113). Following item and reliability analysis, a confirmatory factor analysis was conducted, which failed to produce a well-fitting model. Thus, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted, resulting in a 34-item scale consisting of five factors: Non-territorialism, Competence, Leadership, Support, and Openness. These factors corroborate both the qualitative findings and the extant literature on social services collaboration. Though additional research is needed to further validate the Scale, based on the present qualitative and quantitative findings, agency leadership should consider intensifying their support for responder collaboration through securing resources, providing increased networking and educational opportunities for their responders, and working to reduce territorial attitudes between agencies and their leaders.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Lisa N. Magruder


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

290 p.


Social Work

Included in

Social Work Commons