Heterogeneity among violence-exposed women: applying person-oriented research methods

J Interpers Violence. 2008 Mar;23(3):389-415. doi: 10.1177/0886260507312297.


Variability of experience and outcomes among violence-exposed people pose considerable challenges toward developing effective prevention and treatment protocols. To address these needs, the authors present an approach to research and a class of methodologies referred to as person oriented. Person-oriented tools support assessment of meaningful patterns among people that distinguish one group from another, subgroups for whom different interventions are indicated. The authors review the conceptual base of person-oriented methods, outline their distinction from more familiar variable-oriented methods, present descriptions of selected methods as well as empirical applications of person-oriented methods germane to violence exposure, and conclude with discussion of implications for future research and translation between research and practice. The authors focus on violence against women as a population, drawing on stress and coping theory as a theoretical framework. However, person-oriented methods hold utility for investigating diversity among violence-exposed people's experiences and needs across populations and theoretical foundations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Battered Women* / classification
  • Crime Victims* / classification
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking / methods
  • Models, Psychological
  • Qualitative Research*
  • Research Design
  • Social Environment*
  • Spouse Abuse / classification*
  • Women's Health*