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Angie Kennedy - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Angie Kennedy

Associate Professor of Social Work | Michigan State University


Angie Kennedy's research focuses on different types of victimization among adolescents and young adults.





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Angela Kennedy has been committed to working to end violence against women since the late 1980s, when she first volunteered as a domestic violence advocate as an undergraduate student.

Kennedy’s work focuses on cumulative victimization (including community and school violence, family violence, and intimate partner violence, or IPV) and associated outcomes among adolescents and young adults. She is especially interested in using innovative methods to examine patterns of co-occurring and cumulative victimization over time; she has expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Current projects include a study examining how cumulative victimization (community and school violence exposure, witnessing IPV within the family, physical maltreatment by a caregiver, and sexual victimization) during childhood and adolescence predicts IPV victimization and perpetration over time within a sample of young women ages 18-24.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Mental Health

Partner Rape

Family Violence

Victimization Among Young Adults

Victimization Among Children

Sexual Victimization

Intimate Partner Violence

Education (3)

University of Illinois: Ph.D., Social Work 2003

Graduate concentration in social policy and gender studies

University of Iowa: M.S.W., Social Work 1993

Grinnell College: B.A., Psychology 1989

Affiliations (1)

  • Journal of Women and Social Work: Consulting Editor

News (5)

What Predicts Teen Partner Rape?

MSU Today  online


“There’s this idea that sexual violence doesn’t happen in relationships – certainly not in young women’s first relationships – which is absolutely not the case,” said Angie Kennedy, associate professor of social work and lead author. “We wanted to examine the most severe forms of sexual violence – rape and attempted rape – to better understand the specific risk factors linked to partner rape among young women. Our results can be used to inform prevention and intervention efforts aimed at reducing sexual violence among young people.”

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Domestic Violence Is Alarmingly Common in Chicago

Chicago Magazine  online


Last year, MSU professor Angie Kennedy and her colleagues surveyed “180 female high school students in a poor Chicago community,” and came up with more startling findings...

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Why the Cycle of Domestic Violence Is Hard to Break

Chicago Magazine  online


This in turn—particularly the question asked of the victim—reminded me of a recent study by Angie Kennedy, a UIC Ph.D. now at Michigan State, who studied family violence in Chicago and its correlation to later domestic violence...

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Social Work and Eugenics

Social Work Blog: National Association of Social Workers  online


For example, the policy and practice of sterilizing women perceived as overly sexual in their behavior has descendents in policies to address and regulate the behavior of women in what Michigan State Social Work Professor Angie Kennedy calls “the reproductive underclass.” Her article about eugenics and social work in the February 2008 issue of Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work is worth reading.

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A Natural Force Through the ages, women's strength has been rooted in resilience. Is there a biological and social edge at work?

Women's Health  online


Somewhere, in most women's conscious or unconscious minds, is the unspoken expectation that, if their marriages or relationships last, they will most likely outlive their partners. They know that their children, for whom they're primarily in charge, will grow up and leave. And they face a barrage of advertising and other societal cues that subtly but ever so steadily suggest that they're not getting older, they're getting invisible. But whether expected or a bolt from the blue, each loss, each change, each transition, offers a woman the chance to slightly alter course -- or even try an entirely new path. Credit stamina, stoicism -- or what researchers call resilience, meaning the ability to come back from serious adversity such as war, rape or the devastation of a hurricane. Regardless of the name, science is beginning to examine its source -- a powerful combination of biology, social behavior and psychology, all of which conspire to give women some boosts that men don't have.

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Journal Articles (5)

Predictors of Sexual Violence Across Young Women’s Relationship Histories

Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Angie C. Kennedy

2018 The goal of the current study was to identify risk factors that predict sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization across young women’s relationship histories, within a socioeconomically diverse sample recruited from a university, a 2-year college, and community organizations serving low-income young women. We interviewed 148 young women aged 18 to 24 years about partner victimization (physical IPV, coercive control, and sexual IPV) within each of their relationships (up to four relationships, beginning with their first; 388 in total).

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Young Women’s Intimate Partner Violence Victimization Patterns Across Multiple Relationships

Psychology of Women Quarterly

Angie C. Kennedy

2018 We explored patterns of intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization at the relationship level within a socioeconomically diverse sample of young women who had experienced IPV. We recruited from a university, a 2-year college, and high-risk community settings. Drawing on life course theory and utilizing the life history calendar, we conducted retrospective interviews with 148 young women aged 18–24 about partner victimization (physical IPV, coercive control, and sexual IPV) within each relationship, beginning with their first (up to four relationships; 388 total).

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Cumulative victimization as a predictor of intimate partner violence among young mothers

Psychology of Violence

2017 To examine the effects of cumulative victimization on intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization among young mothers. Method: With a cross-sectional design that utilized the life history calendar method and was grounded in developmental traumatology and life course stress theory, we interviewed 60 young mothers (ages 16 to 21) about their retrospective yearly experiences with community and school violence, witnessing IPV, physical maltreatment by a caregiver, and sexual victimization, beginning at age 5; we retrospectively assessed for annual IPV victimization beginning with 1st dating partner. We obtained an average of 15 years of data per participant, which we analyzed using multilevel modeling. Results: This high-risk sample reported much higher rates of victimization than did similarly aged national samples, with lifetime prevalence of each type ranging from 60% to 84%. Cumulative victimization during childhood was positively associated with cumulative victimization during adolescence. A higher rate of cumulative victimization during childhood was associated with a steeper increase in the rate of IPV victimization during adolescence, after controlling for a range of predictors, though childhood cumulative victimization was not linked to IPV at age 16. Conclusions: Consistent with developmental traumatology and life course stress theory, which emphasize the role of early and proliferating stressors in shaping poor outcomes, childhood experiences with cumulative victimization may increase young mothers’ vulnerability to IPV victimization during adolescence. Researchers should embrace innovative methods to explore developmental trajectories of cumulative victimization, especially among high-risk groups; clinical practice and dating violence interventions must be evidence-based and trauma-informed to be effective.

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The Effects of Cumulative Violence Clusters on Young Mothers' School Participation: Examining Attention and Behavior Problems as Mediators

Journal of Interpersonal Violence

2016 Using a cluster analysis approach with a sample of 205 young mothers recruited from community sites in an urban Midwestern setting, we examined the effects of cumulative violence exposure (community violence exposure, witnessing intimate partner violence, physical abuse by a caregiver, and sexual victimization, all with onset prior to age 13) on school participation, as mediated by attention and behavior problems in school. We identified five clusters of cumulative exposure, and found that the HiAll cluster (high levels of exposure to all four types) consistently fared the worst, with significantly higher attention and behavior problems, and lower school participation, in comparison with the LoAll cluster (low levels of exposure to all types). Behavior problems were a significant mediator of the effects of cumulative violence exposure on school participation, but attention problems were not.

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“I Still Feel Like I Am Not Normal”: A Review of the Role of Stigma and Stigmatization Among Female Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, and Intimate Partner Violence

Trauma, Violence, & Abuse

Angie C. Kennedy

2016 Child sexual abuse (CSA), sexual assault (SA), and intimate partner violence (IPV) occur within social contexts that shape how survivors judge themselves and are evaluated by others. Because these are gendered sexual and intimate crimes that violate social norms about what is appropriate and acceptable, survivors may experience stigma that includes victim-blaming messages from the broader society as well as specific stigmatizing reactions from others in response to disclosure; this stigmatization can be internalized among survivors as self-blame, shame, and anticipatory stigma.

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