PSY510 Walden Intimate Partner Violence & Duty to Protect Case Study Questions


Read the case study and answer questions accordingly.

Template APA style attached, questions attached and case study. That is all you will need for this assignment.

Partner Violence and the Duty to Protect

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

ethnographic study of couples in which the male partner has been paroled following

conviction and imprisonment for intimate partner violence (IPV). Over

the course of a year, she has had individual monthly interviews with 25 couples

while one partner was in jail and following their release. Aiden is a 35-year-old

male parolee convicted of seriously injuring his wife. He and his wife, Maya, have

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 wife when he becomes

drunk, usually in the evening. To her knowledge, Aiden has never followed

through on these threats. Dr. Yeung has the impression both Aiden and Maya feel

a sense of social support when discussing their 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.” She calls both Aiden’s and Maya’s

cell phone numbers, but no one answers.

Ethical Dilemma

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

not to contact emergency services to suggest that law enforcement officers go to

Aiden’s home or to the homes of his parents and girlfriend.

Discussion Questions

1. Why is this an ethical dilemma? Which APA Ethical Principles help frame

the nature of the dilemma?

2. Who are the stakeholders, and how will they be affected by how Dr. Yeung

resolves this dilemma?

3. Does this situation meet the standards set by the Tarasoff decision’s “duty to

protect” statute (see Chapter 7)? How might whether or not Dr. Yeung’s state

includes researchers under such a statute influence Dr. Yeung’s ethical decision

making? How might the fact that Dr. Yeung is a research psychologist without

training or licensure in clinical practice influence the ethical decision?

4. In addressing this dilemma, should Dr. Yeung consider how her decision

may affect the completion of her research (e.g., the confidentiality concerns

of other participants)?

5. How are APA Ethical Standards 2.01f, 3.04, 3.06, 4.01, 4.02, 4.05, and 8.01

relevant to this case? Which other standards might apply?

6. What are Dr. Yeung’s ethical alternatives for resolving this dilemma?

Which alternative best reflects the Ethics Code aspirational principles and

enforceable standards, legal standards, and obligations to stakeholders?

Can you identify the ethical theory (discussed in Chapter 3) guiding your


7. What steps should Dr. Yeung take to implement her decision and monitor its


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. (2011). Addiction research ethics and the Belmont principles: Do drug users

have a different moral voice? Substance Use & Misuse, 46(6), 728–741.

Appendix A Case Studies for Ethical Decision Making 437

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.

Paavilainen, E., Lepisto, S., & Flinck, A. (2014). Ethical issues in family violence research in

healthcare settings. Nursing Ethics, 21, 43–52.

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