Self-Defense Training in Women With Trauma

Not Recruiting

Trial ID: NCT01380379


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

Stanford Investigator(s)

Jennifer Keller
Jennifer Keller

Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Inclusion Criteria:

   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. 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.


behavioral: Life skills and self-defense training

Not Recruiting

Contact Information

Stanford University
School of Medicine
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
Jennifer Keller