Regarding your research question, you’ll need to consider several things to narrow this a bit more to reach an “actionable” research question. The first is what you mean by mental illness. An operational definition for mental illness is important so we know what you plan to measure. For example, do you mean a particular diagnosis (eg, depression, schizophrenia) or a set of diagnoses? Also, what does the existing literature say about this issue? A quick Google Scholar search suggests that there are many recent studies on mental illness as a contributor to domestic violence/abuse. Recent studies can help you identify gaps that can be explored in a dissertation study.
A very nice start to the qualitative side of this work! You have used appropriate language which suggests that this question is qualitative. Specifically, highlighting the need to “explore” this issue allows you to provide participants with opportunities to share their experiences via semi-structured or open-ended interviews. Qualitative inquiry is in part designed for this exploration to understand and uncover elements perhaps that we had not considered relative to this issue
Program of Study: Forensic Psychology.
Social Problem: Domestic violence is a critical issue in the United States. Research indicates that over 10 million Americans experience domestic violence every year (Huecker et al., 2022). Domestic violence includes psychological, emotional, sexual, physical, and economic abuse of adults, children, or elders. Several factors, including mental health illnesses, contribute to domestic violence.
Quantitative Research Problem: The scholarly community does not know the extent to which mental health illnesses contribute to domestic violence
Quantitative Research Purpose: The purpose of this quantitative study is to determine the extent to which mental health illnesses contribute to domestic violence.
Quantitative Research Question: To what extent is mental illness a contributing factor to domestic violence?
Theory or Conceptual Framework: Exosystem Factor Theory. According to this theory, life stressors or life events can serve as predictors of domestic violence (Hyde-Nolan & Juliao, 2012). However, life stressors result in domestic violence when other specific factors exist. These include social isolation, low marital satisfaction, and most importantly, mental health illness. This theory will provide a phenomenon for understanding the above-mentioned social problem and interpreting research results.
Qualitative Research Problem: The scholarly community does not know how mental health illnesses contribute to domestic violence.
Qualitative Research Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore how mental health illnesses contribute to domestic violence.
Qualitative Research Question: How does mental health illness contributes to domestic violence?
Theory or Conceptual Framework: Same as quantitative