Self-Defense Training in Women With Trauma

Trial ID or NCT#



not recruiting iconNOT RECRUITING


Previous research has shown that self-defense training can lead to gains in women's assertiveness, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and physical competence, and decreases in anxiety, helplessness, fear, and avoidant behaviors. However, most of this research has been conducted with healthy women who had not previously experienced physical or sexual violence. The investigators believe that women with such trauma histories require additional care because of potential triggering symptoms. As such, the investigators are mindful of the potential for triggering trauma symptoms and will work with the women so that they feel safe and comfortable in their participation. This pilot study aims to examine whether similar psychological gains from self-defense training are made in women who have previous experiences of physical and/or sexual violence.

Official Title

A Pilot Study of Self-Defense Training in Women With Trauma

Eligibility Criteria

Ages Eligible for Study: 21 Years to 65 Years
Sexes Eligible for Study: Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers: No
Inclusion Criteria:
  1. 1. Women ages 21-65 years 2. History of physical and/or sexual violence, with subsequent interpersonal or psychological distress (e.g., depression or anxiety) related to this history.
Exclusion Criteria:
  1. 1. Substance abuse in the past 6 months 2. Significant medical conditions that would preclude safe participation in the study 3. High levels of depression with significant suicide risk 4. Pregnant women 5. Active symptoms of psychosis or psychiatric instability 6. History of assaultive behavior or is judged to be at potential risk to assault others.


Jennifer Keller
Jennifer Keller
Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

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Jennifer Keller