Aguiniga, Trawver co-author article on low-income mothers’ perspectives about their intimate partner relationships

by Ahliil Saitanan  |   

Portrait of Donna Aguiniga
Donna Aguiniga
Portrait of Kathi Trawver
Kathi Trawver

School of Social Work faculty members Donna Aguiniga and Kathi Trawver co-authored an article, titled "Perspectives of low-income mothers about their intimate partner relationships," that was published in the Journal of Family Social Work.⁠

To help fill the gaps in their support system and meet the needs of their families, low-income mothers may develop or maintain intimate partner relationships. This study employs the voices of 22 low-income mothers to examine the factors that influence how low-income mothers’ perceive their intimate partner relationships.

According to the article abstract, researchers employed a semi-structured interview guide to encourage participants’ reflection about characteristics they seek in an intimate partner, their most recent relationships, and the types of help they want from an intimate partner. A grounded theory approach was used to identify key themes. Identified themes include the impact of participants’ personal history and the centrality of their role as a mother. Past experiences of abuse and violence experienced by many low-income mothers made it difficult for them to trust.

This research provides insight into the experiences of low-income mothers and intimate partner relationships that can be used in future theoretical model development. Practice implications include the need for trauma-informed services and increased social service programs for mothers leaving problematic relationships.