Graduation Date

Summer 8-18-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Health Services Research, Administration, and Policy

First Advisor

Li-Wu Chen


Three components of the dissertation project examined the relationship between three different constructs of structural violence and women’s experience of different violence types in their lifetime in the United States. The violence types examined in the study included psychological aggression, coercive control and entrapment, physical violence, stalking, sexual violence, and rape. 2010 National Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence Survey with the final sample size of 9,827 was used for all three portions of the study to analyze the association of structural violence with six types of violence. Additional datasets used were Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s Status of Women Project, the American Association of University Women, NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, the Guttmacher Institute, and United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. A survey design was applied, and logistic regression analysis was performed with each violence type for all three parts of the study. The first research component aimed to examine the relationship between women’s status at a state level and violence against women in the United States. The second study focused on the association between women’s reproductive rights’ status at a state level and violence against women in the United States. The third portion of the study examined the association between reproductive health care resources in a state and violence against women. These study results suggest that different types of women experienced by women may be associated with different structural factors. It appears that political, legal and economic dimensions of women’s status are significant factors associated with women’s experience of violence types such as psychological aggression, coercive control and entrapment, and sexual violence in the United States. The study findings also suggest that there is an association between the ability of women to exercise their reproductive rights and the different types of violence experienced by women in those states. It appears that in states where women can exercise their reproductive freedom, they are less likely to report experiencing coercive control and entrapment, sexual violence, physical violence, and rape. Additionally, the study results suggest that non-physical types of violence may be prevalent in the United States, and are strongly associated with structural factors.