A program assessment in domestic violence

Alice C Smith, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this study was to seek relevant data that will permit planning and implementing more effective treatment programs for African-American male perpetrators of domestic violence. To that end, an investigation was undertaken of what was, and what was not, effective treatment in the Kelly Miller Smith Center Against Abusive Behavior (KMSCAAB). Research questions included: What were the differences between recidivists and non-recidivists? To what extent was a program centered on socio-cultural manifestations, heritage, values, and beliefs of the subjects, successful in preventing repeat abuse? Ethnographic methodology (Spradley, 1979), a type of “case study”, was used to gain insight into how three recidivists and three non-recidivists, viewed the program offered by KMSCAAB. Extensive interviews with three recidivists and three non-recidivists were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed for illuminating reasons for success or failure in the therapeutic settings. Audiotapes were made of interviews with the facilitators and the probation officers of the participants to get a full picture of each person in the study. It appears that the program design and group format were successful. The group approach helps promote Afrocentric ideals of collective survival, commonality among individuals, mutual cooperation and shared responsibility. The program used education, skill development and supportive counseling in order to bring about significant intervention elements. Culture specific materials were used as the various topics were covered in the curriculum. One major recommendation is that African Americans need to receive their counseling in settings in which they are nurtured, exposed to a curriculum that is relevant to their historical experience and cultural heritage, and provided by African American counselors and African American role models. The findings in this study suggest that more research needs to be done on the men who batter and how they stop their abusive behavior.

Subject Area

School counseling|Black studies|Criminology|Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Alice C Smith, "A program assessment in domestic violence" (2001). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3024633.