Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 565–574 | Cite as

Clinical Challenges in Addressing Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) with Pregnant and Parenting Adolescents

  • Shanti J. KulkarniEmail author
  • Carol M. Lewis
  • Diane M. Rhodes
Original Article


Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been identified as a significant issue for pregnant and parenting adolescents. This study thematically analyzed data from focus groups with service providers (n = 43) who work with pregnant and parenting adolescents to learn about barriers and strategies for addressing IPV. Service providers described four primary barriers to addressing IPV with their adolescent clients: adolescent clients’ definitions of love, intergenerational relationship patterns, cultural norms about gender and violence, and developmental-contextual considerations. Service providers also indicated that they respond to adolescents’ IPV related concerns by taking steps to identify IPV, building working relationships, and taking appropriate follow-up action. Results suggest that providers can benefit from increased training and skill development in working with IPV, as well as working in interdisciplinary, collaborative teams to increase effectiveness with challenging cases. Programs should consider integrating IPV prevention initiatives that target broader social norms. Future research should pilot and test the effectiveness of targeted IPV training and programmatic interventions with service providers who work with this population.


Intimate partner violence Pregnant and parenting adolescents Intervention Service barriers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shanti J. Kulkarni
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Carol M. Lewis
    • 2
  • Diane M. Rhodes
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Social WorkUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  3. 3.School of Social WorkUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  4. 4.Department of Social WorkCHHSCharlotteUSA

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