Individual Programmatic Assessment: Case Study Four Worksheet

Case 4. Research on Intimate Partner

Violence and the Duty to Protect

Dr. Daniela Yeung, a community psychologist, has been conducting a federally funded

ethnographic study of men’s attitudes toward intimate partner violence following

conviction and release from prison for spousal abuse. Over the course of a year, she has

had individual monthly interviews with 25 participants while they were in jail and

following their release. Aiden, a 35-year-old male parolee convicted of seriously injuring

his wife, has been interviewed by Dr. Yeung on eight occasions. The interviews have

covered a range of personal topics including Aiden’s problem drinking, which is

marked by blackouts and threatening phone calls made to his parents and girlfriend

when he becomes drunk, usually in the evening. To her knowledge, Aiden has never

followed through on these threats. It is clear that Aiden feels very comfortable discussing

his life with Dr. Yeung. One evening Dr. Yeung checks her answering machine and

finds a message from Aiden. His words are slurred and angry: “Now that you know the

truth about what I am you know that there is nothing you can do to help the evil inside

me. The bottle is my savior and I will end this with them tonight.” Each time she calls

Aiden’s home phone she gets a busy signal.

Ethical Dilemma

Dr. Yeung has Aiden’s address, and after 2 hours, she is considering whether or

not to contact emergency services to go to Aiden’s home or to the homes of his

parents and girlfriend.

 

Suggested Readings

Appelbaum, P., & Rosenbaum, A. (1989). Tarasoff and the researcher: Does the duty to

protect apply in the research setting? American Psychologist, 44(6), 885–894.

Fisher, C. B., Oransky, M., Mahadevan, M., Singer, M., Mirhej, G., & Hodge, G. D. (2009). Do

drug abuse researchers have a duty to protect third parties from HIV transmission?

Moral perspectives of street drug users. In D. Buchanan, C. B. Fisher, & L. Gable (Eds.),

Research with high-risk populations: Balancing science, ethics, and law (pp. 189–206).

Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Gable, L. (2009). Legal challenges raised by non-intervention research conducted under

high-risk circumstances. In D. Buchanan, C. B. Fisher, & L. Gable (Eds.). Research with

high-risk populations: Balancing science, ethics, and law (pp. 47–74). Washington, DC:

American Psychological Association.

Jordan, C. E., Campbell, R., & Follingstad, D. (2010). Violence and women’s mental health:

The impact of physical, sexual, & psychological aggression. Annual Review of Clinical

Psychology, 6, 607–628.

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