A longitudinal investigation of interpersonal violence in relation to mental health and substance use

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical Universityof South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.85). 09/2008; 76(4):633-47. DOI: 10.1037/0022-006X.76.4.633
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The authors examined longitudinally the mental health status of women as a function of different types and combinations of exposure to interpersonal violence. A structured telephone interview was administered to a household probability sample of 4,008 women (18-89 years of age), who were then recontacted for 1- and 2-year follow-up interviews. Interviews assessed lifetime violence history (i.e., sexual assault, physical assault, witnessed serious injury or violent death), past-year mental health functioning (i.e., posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], depression, and substance use problems), and new instances of violence occurring after the baseline interview. Results indicate that (a) lifetime violence exposure was associated with increased risk of PTSD, depression, and substance use problems; (b) odds of PTSD, depression, and substance use problems increased incrementally with the number of different types of violence experienced; (c) relations were fairly stable over a 2-year period; and (d) new incidents of violence between the baseline and follow-up interviews were associated with heightened risk of PTSD and substance use problems. Greater understanding of the cumulative impact of violence exposure will inform service provision for individuals at high risk.

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