Recent Publication: Dr. Cobb Adds to Relationship Research on Intimate Partner Violence

February 16, 2017

Dr. Becky Cobb, Clinical Coordinator of the Couples & Family Therapy Program and Assistant Clinical Professor at the School of Theology and Ministry, recently published an article in the Journal of the International Association for Relationship Research along with other noted researchers in the field of marriage and family therapy. The article, entitled Remaining in a Situationally Aggressive Relationship: the Role of Relationship Self-Efficacy, explored the factors at play when victims of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) remain in their relationships. The article states:

Situational IPV is surprisingly common, and the victims of such IPV often experience physical, psychological, and interpersonal costs. Nevertheless, many remain in their relationships despite these costs. The current results suggest that a seemingly benevolent belief—the belief that one can resolve relationship problems—partially accounts for this decision.

Dr. Cobb, who has conducted extensive research on Intimate Partner Violence, says this work relates directly to the trauma course she teaches each Fall. The course, Systems of Trauma Treatment, examines the manifestation of trauma in family, individual, and spiritual systems, utilizing research, family systems theories, and theological reflection.  Throughout the course, students learn individual and systemic methods of assessment and intervention for the care and treatment of trauma and discuss the impact of trauma on the spiritual self. Recognizing the impact of trauma work on clinicians, students are encouraged to develop their own methods of self-care, as they learn crisis intervention and examine the treatment of presenting topics such as: post-traumatic stress disorder, child abuse and neglect, elder abuse and neglect, intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, illness, grief, and loss.


Baker, L. R., Cobb, R. A., McNulty, J. K., Lambert, N. M., & Fincham, F. D. (2016). Remaining in a situationally aggressive relationship: The role of relationship self-efficacy. Personal Relationships, 23, 591-604.