The current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq present unique risk factors for military personnel that increase the likelihood of psychological distress and concomitant consequences related to trauma. Several studies have found that the stress brought about by financial difficulties, unemployment, and the need to renegotiate roles and responsibilities with spouses following discharge increases the likelihood of relationship strain and even intimate partner violence in the veteran population. This study was undertaken to determine the challenges related to maintaining healthy relationships for college student veterans who have served in the armed forces since September 11, 2001. Psychological distress, substance use, and hypermasculine attitudes were explored as risk factors for intimate violence. Social support was found to be a protective buffer against psychological aggression. However, approximately a third of college student veterans reported low social support along with symptoms of distress, placing them at elevated risk of partner abuse. The current article explores models for predicting risk of perpetrating aggression in college student veterans and concludes that culturally tailored programs and services are needed.
Positive psychologists found the increase of seven character strengths that encompass the so-called theological virtues, including hope and spirituality, in Americans after the September 11, 2001, attacks. Little is known about how they may affect post-September 11, 2001, mental health. Using multivariate analysis, this study investigated the relationship of hope and spiritual meaning with depression and anxiety in a sample of 457 students 3 months after September 11, 2001. Both characters contributed to lower levels of symptoms. In qualitative analysis, of 313 answers to an open-ended question regarding personal change, four categories emerged. The first three were consonant with other studies on posttraumatic growth (PTG), including changes in the self or behavior, relationships, and worldviews. The fourth category unique to September 11, 2001, was changes in political views. These findings offer further credence to the study of positive aspects resulting from violence-related trauma and highlight the needs for addressing the nature of traumatic events and PTG.
This study examined the impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks on graduate and undergraduate students and the role of optimism in posttraumatic distress. A sample of 457 students who attended courses at three schools of social work (Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Washington) participated in the study. A quarter of them had a known person as an immediate victim of the attacks. Multivariate analysis showed that posttraumatic stress disorder symptom scores were positively related to personal loss and two types of previous trauma reactivated by the attacks, and levels of initial negative emotional response. Optimism and its interaction with personal loss were inversely associated with posttraumatic stress disorder symptom scores.
Prior history of trauma may sensitize individuals to subsequent trauma, including terrorist attacks. Using a convenience sample of secondary, cross-sectional data, pregnant women were grouped based on lifetime interpersonal violence history. Cumulative risk theory was used to evaluate the association of lifetime interpersonal violence history and subjective impact of the September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorists attacks. Using hierarchical linear regression, cumulative risk theory was partially supported. Women with a history of only one type of interpfersonal violence reported greater effect of 9/11 than did women without a history, but women with both types of violence did not report a greater effect of 9/11 compared to women endorsing history of one type. These data corroborate the literature in that level of exposure to terrorist-related trauma predicts subjective reaction to the attacks. Future research with a larger sample and standardized instruments is warranted.
Although much academic research has addressed racism, religious discrimination has been largely ignored. The current study investigates levels of self-reported racial and religious discrimination in a sample of 222 British Muslims. Respondents indicate that following September 11th, 2001, levels of implicit or indirect discrimination rose by 82.6% and experiences of overt discrimination by 76.3%. Thus, the current work demonstrates that major world events may affect not only stereotypes of minority groups but also prejudice toward minorities. Results suggest that religious affiliation may be a more meaningful predictor of prejudice than race or ethnicity. General Health Questionnaire scores indicate that 35.6% of participants likely suffered mental health problems, with significant associations between problem-indicative scores and reports of experiencing a specific abusive incident of September 11th-related abuse by respondents. The dearth of empirical work pertaining to religious discrimination and its effects is a cause for concern.
This article explores men's use of sexual violence against their intimate partner. Although there is a growing body of information about men's use of physical violence, there is less data about men's sexual violence in intimate partnerships. Data were collected from 229 men who were enrolled in an intervention program for men who abuse. Of men in this study, 53% had sexually assaulted their partner at least one time. This article will address the ways in which this sample of men sexually abused their partner and the connection between physical and sexual abuse within their relationships.
The criminal use of weapons is a very topical issue in the industrialized countries and worldwide, and a reconsideration of the legislation governing their possession is warranted. We retrospectively analyzed the homicides and suicides involving the use of firearms and piercing and/or cutting weapons recorded at the Medicolegal Bureau in Milan from January 1, 1993, to December 31, 2008. First we considered the clinical histories of the deceased and the circumstantial details of their deaths, then we examined the data relating to the cause of death recorded in the autopsy reports. Our case series consisted of 414 homicides (54.2%) and 350 suicides (45.8%). Firearms were responsible for more deaths (64%) than piercing and/or cutting weapons (36%). The firearms involved were legally licensed in 40% of cases (suicides) and illegal in 22% (homicides). Our findings suggest the need to review the criteria considered for the issue of firearms licenses, in Italy at least.
Until recently, research studies have implied that domestic violence does not affect Asian American and immigrant communities, or even Asians abroad, because ethnicity or culture has not been addressed. In this content analysis, the authors examined trends in publications in leading scholarly journals on violence relating to Asian women and domestic violence. A coding schema was developed, with two raters coding the data with high interrater reliability. Sixty articles were published over the 16 years studied, most atheoretical and focusing on individual levels of analysis. The terms used in discussing domestic violence reflected a feminist perspective. Three quarters of the studies were empirical, with most guided by logical positivism using quantitative designs. Most targeted specific Asian subgroups (almost a third focused on Asian Indians) rather than categorizing Asians as a general ethnic category. The concept of "Asian culture" was most often assessed by discussing Asian family structure. Future research is discussed in light of the findings.
Homicides of dependent elderly and nonelderly adults by their caregivers violate trust and have long-term consequences for families. A better understanding of the characteristics of homicide by caregivers may provide insights that can inform prevention efforts. Data collected in the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) between 2003 and 2007 are used to characterize victims, perpetrators, and caregiver roles, and circumstances that precipitated homicides by a caregiver. A total 68 incidents are categorized into either homicide by neglect ( n = 17), intentional injury of the victim only (n = 21), or homicide followed by suicide of the perpetrator (n = 30). Demographics, mechanism of injury, location of injury, and victim-suspect relationship variables are supplemented by narrative accounts of incidents. In general, findings show that adult homicide victims of a caregiver were widowed (42.6%), non-Hispanic (97.1%), White (88.2%), women (63.2%) killed in their homes (92.6%) with a firearm (35.3%) or by intentional neglect (25.0%) by a husband (30.9%) or a son (22.1%). Nearly half were aged 80 years and older (48.5%), 42.6% were aged 50 to 79 years, and 0.9% were aged 20 to 49 years. Many homicide by caregiver incidents are precipitated by physical illness of the victim or caregiver, opportunity for perpetrator financial gain, mental illness of the caregiver, substance use by the caregiver, or an impending crisis in the life of the caregiver not related to illness. Understanding the vulnerabilities of victims, the characteristics of suspects, and the multiple types of motivations is key to developing effective prevention efforts.
Filicide (the killing of a child by a parent) followed by the offender's suicide is a tragic but, fortunately, rare event. The contexts and circumstances surrounding filicide-suicide may provide insight into parental psychology. The authors test several hypotheses about filicide-suicide using a database including incident-level information on 11,018 Chicago homicides during 1870-1930. The results provide some support for the hypothesis of differential risk of suicide following filicide by genetic parents and stepparents and replicate previous research indicating that filicides with multiple victims are more likely to end in the offender's suicide than are filicides with a single victim; parents are more likely to commit suicide following the filicide of an older child than of a younger child; and older parents, relative to younger parents, are more likely to commit suicide following filicide. The discussion situates these results within the existing literature and highlights important directions for future research.
The objective of this analysis is to explore the possibility that Brearley's failure to detect a coherent pattern of seasonal variation in his well-known study of homicide in the United States was due to a lack of statistical refinement. The original data on homicides in the United States between 1923 and 1928 (N = 51,798) were reanalyzed using spectral analysis. The results show a significant seasonal dependency with a peak in the homicide rate in August. The seasonal dependency explains between 23% and 30% of the total homicide variance. The importance of this finding is the degree of explained variance and the location of the peak, which is remarkably consistent with more contemporary studies using similar methods despite substantial sociodemographic changes, suggesting an endogenous etiology.
Canada has implemented legislation covering all firearms since 1977 and presents a model to examine incremental firearms control. The effect of legislation on homicide by firearm and the subcategory, spousal homicide, is controversial and has not been well studied to date. Legislative effects on homicide and spousal homicide were analyzed using data obtained from Statistics Canada from 1974 to 2008. Three statistical methods were applied to search for any associated effects of firearms legislation. Interrupted time series regression, ARIMA, and Joinpoint analysis were performed. Neither were any significant beneficial associations between firearms legislation and homicide or spousal homicide rates found after the passage of three Acts by the Canadian Parliament--Bill C-51 (1977), C-17 (1991), and C-68 (1995)--nor were effects found after the implementation of licensing in 2001 and the registration of rifles and shotguns in 2003. After the passage of C-68, a decrease in the rate of the decline of homicide by firearm was found by interrupted regression. Joinpoint analysis also found an increasing trend in homicide by firearm rate post the enactment of the licensing portion of C-68. Other factors found to be associated with homicide rates were median age, unemployment, immigration rates, percentage of population in low-income bracket, Gini index of income equality, population per police officer, and incarceration rate. This study failed to demonstrate a beneficial association between legislation and firearm homicide rates between 1974 and 2008.
Research on trends in partner violence has primarily relied on official measures of victimization focusing primarily on women's risk for intimate partner homicide. The current study uses 28 years of data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) to examine the trends of intimate partner violence against female victims and identify variation in women's risk as a function of race and employment. Although it has been theorized that employment is correlated with the risk of intimate partner victimization for women, research has not thoroughly addressed this in a longitudinal context. In addition, research has not explored the extent to which intimate partner violence is correlated with the combined variables of race and employment. The authors find that between 1980 and the mid-2000s employment is associated with an increase in women's risk for intimate partner violence. However, the conclusion that the rate of victimization is higher for employed women appears to be partly contingent on the victims' race. The trend for non-White unemployed women appears to be relatively comparable to both White and non-White employed women, at least for the first 15 years of the series.
To describe the epidemiology of intimate partner violence (IPV) homicide in Massachusetts, an IPV mortality data set developed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health was analyzed. The rates of death were estimated by dividing the number of decedents over the aged-matched population and Poisson regression was used to estimate the contribution of race, ethnicity, and foreign-born status to the risk of dying from IPV. Out of the total 270 women whose deaths were associated with IPV, 239 (89%) were killed by a male partner. Black women had a risk of dying from IPV of 16.2 per 1,000,000 person-years. Hispanic women also had a higher risk of dying from IPV than non-Hispanic women; incidence risk ratio of 9.7 (Poisson regression 95% confidence interval 6.8-13.8). IPV femicide disproportionately affected Black and Hispanic women. Agencies must consider the importance of providing culturally appropriate services to IPV survivors and their community.
The predictive accuracy of the newly developed actuarial risk measures Risk Matrix 2000 Sexual/Violence (RMS, RMV) were cross validated and compared with two risk assessment measures (SVR-20 and Static-99) in a sample of sexual (n= 85) and nonsex violent (n= 46) offenders. The sexual offense reconviction rate for the sex offender group was 18% at 10 years follow-up, compared with 2% for the violent offenders. Survival analyses revealed the violent offenders were reconvicted at twice the rate compared to sexual offenders. The RMV significantly predicted violent recidivism in the sex and combined sex/violent offender groups. Although the RMS obtained marginal accuracy in predicting sexual reconviction in the sex offender group, none of the scales significantly predicted sexual reconviction. An item analysis revealed four factors not included in the risk scales that were significantly correlated with sexual and violent reconviction. Combining these factors with Static-99, RMV, and RMS increased the accuracy in predicting sexual reconviction.
Over 1.5 million women are victims of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse by former or present intimate partners. Intimate partner violence (IPV) around pregnancy can lead to devastating health consequences to mothers and infants. While some research suggests that IPV negatively affects the utilization of health services like prenatal care (PNC), inconsistencies in the assessment of PNC utilization, timing of partner violence, and definitions of IPV yield conflicting results. The objective for the present study is to evaluate whether preconception IPV, prenatal IPV, or IPV in the preconception and/or prenatal period affects PNC utilization. This study analyzed the 2004-2008 national Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), which included 202,367 women who delivered a live birth in the United States. IPV victimization was measured using four items that addressed physical abuse by a current or former husband/partner in the 12 months before (preconception) and during (prenatal) pregnancy. Responses were categorized as preconception, prenatal, and preconception and/or prenatal IPV. The outcome was PNC adequacy categorized as inadequate, intermediate, adequate, and adequate plus based on the Adequacy of Prenatal Care Utilization index. Separate logistic regression models provided crude and adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Over 6% of women reported preconception and/or prenatal IPV and 26% had less than adequate PNC. Women who reported abuse before and/or during pregnancy were more likely to have inadequate PNC (odds ratio [OR] = 1.4, 95% CI = [1.3, 1.6]). Similarly, women who experienced preconception or prenatal IPV were 30% more likely to have inadequate PNC (OR = 1.3, 95% CI = [1.2, 1.5]; OR = 1.3, 95% CI = [1.1, 1.7], respectively). Adequate PNC is essential in improving pregnancy outcomes; however, women in abusive relationships may face ongoing challenges and difficulties with obtaining appropriate care. Findings underscore a critical problem and health providers are urged to screen and educate women about IPV during all preconception and prenatal visits.
This article assesses the prevalence and risk factors of domestic violence in India. The study uses the 2005-2006 India National Family Health Survey-III (NFHS-III) and focuses on the 69,484 ever-married women ages 15 to 49 from all regions, who were administered the domestic violence module. The results show that 31% of respondents experienced physical violence in the past 12 months before the survey; the corresponding figure for sexual violence was 8.3%. The multivariate logistic regression results show key determinants of physical and sexual violence. Some of the most salient findings are that urban residence, household wealth, affiliation with Christian religious denominations, wife's age at marriage and education are associated with lower risk of physical and sexual violence. In contrast, being employed and being the wife of a man who drank alcohol increased the odds of experiencing both physical and sexual violence. Moreover, respondents who believed that wife-beating was justified under certain circumstances were more likely to experience domestic violence. These results and significant regional differences observed in this study suggest that gender role conditioning and cultural norms both contribute to domestic violence. Interventions, therefore, need to go beyond the institutional and legal levels to include cultural capital, which addresses partner and relationship issues.
Audio computer-assisted self-interviews (ACASI) are increasingly used in health research to improve the accuracy of data on sensitive behaviors. However, evidence is limited on its use among low-income populations in countries like India and for measurement of sensitive issues such as domestic violence.
We compared reports of domestic violence and three less sensitive behaviors related to household decision making and spousal communication in ACASI and face-to-face interviews (FTFI) among 464 young married women enrolled in a longitudinal study of gender-based power and adverse health outcomes in low-income communities in Bangalore, India. We used a test-retest design. At the 12-month study visit, we elicited responses from each participant through FTFI first, followed by ACASI. At the 24-month visit, we reversed the order, implementing ACASI first, followed by FTFI. Univariable log-linear regression models and kappa statistics were used to examine ACASI's effects on self-reports.
Regression results showed significantly lower reporting in ACASI relative to FTFI at both visits, including for domestic violence (12-month risk ratio [RR] = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.52, 0.73; 24-month RR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.62, 0.89). Response agreement between interview modes, calculated by kappa scores, was universally low, though highest for domestic violence (12-month κ = 0.45; 24-month κ = 0.48). Older age and greater educational attainment appeared associated with higher response agreement.
Greater reporting in FTFI may be due to social desirability bias for the less sensitive questions and perceptions of therapeutic benefit for domestic violence. These results cast doubt on the appropriateness of using ACASI for measurement of sensitive behaviors in India.
Reliable and valid indicators of assault are required to effectively monitor population trends and ensure that resources are targeted effectively. Trends in assault, reported by the media, based on crime statistics, or on victim surveys, are substantively affected by extraneous factors. In 2006, Estrada offered up solutions to the difficulties posed by crime statistics and victim surveys, by proposing the development of indicators based on hospital discharge data, albeit with identified limitations. This article is a response to Estrada's proposition, and works through each of Estrada's identified limitations of hospital discharge data. Potential problems with Estrada's suggestions are highlighted in our article and solutions, based on the current evidence, are proposed.
There is a pressing need to develop a more nuanced understanding of the relationships between particular expressions of religiosity and the various manifestations of violence among youth. This study examines these relationships among adolescents in the general population as well as across racial/ethnic, gender, and family income differences. Using a nationally representative sample of adolescents (N = 90,202) from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2006-2010), logistic regression is used to examine the relationships between religiosity and violence. Results indicate that multiple components of adolescent religiosity are associated with the decreased likelihood of fighting, group fighting, and, to a lesser extent, violent attacks. A number of noteworthy differences were identified across race/ethnicity, gender, and family income. Findings from this investigation shed light on the relationship between particular facets of religiosity and violence that may be useful for violence prevention organizations seeking to integrate religious components into intervention efforts.
A common reason for not participating in intimate partner violence (IPV) research is thought to be fear for one's safety. However, little is known about those who do not participate due to safety fears. To better characterize this population, we investigated correlates of being "not safe" to answer the optional IPV module in the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), a yearly cross-sectional telephone survey in the United States. We compared those who said they were not safe to complete the module with those who were safe and reported (+IPV) or denied (-IPV) IPV. Forward stepwise multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify significant correlates of being not-safe. Those who said they were not safe to answer IPV questions were found to have lower income, lower education levels, and were older than either +IPV or -IPV respondents. They were also more likely to be male than the +IPV group. The not-safe differ from those traditionally identified as being at greatest risk for IPV. However, the percentage of IPV victims in the not-safe group remains unknown. Greater efforts should be made to include this group in future IPV research, both to determine these groups' true IPV risk and to avoid missing potential IPV victims. The validity, reliability, and comprehensibility of safety questions should also be assessed.
Foubert, Godin, and Tatum describe qualitative effects among college men of The Men's Program, a one-session sexual violence prevention program. This article and the program it describes are representative of many sexual violence prevention programs that are in practice and provide an opportunity for a brief discussion of the development and evaluation of sexual violence prevention approaches. In this commentary, we will focus on two considerations for an evolving field: the adherence to the principles of prevention and the use of rigorous evaluation methods to demonstrate effectiveness. We argue that the problem of sexual violence has created urgency for effective prevention programs and that scientific and prevention standards provide the best foundation to meet this need.
Rape prevention programmers and researchers have long struggled to select the most appropriate theoretical models to frame their work. Questions abound regarding appropriate standards of evidence for success of program interventions. The present article provides an alternative point of view to the one put forward by seven staff members from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Tharp et al., 2011). Questions are posed for readers to consider regarding the appropriateness of the medical model for rape prevention programs, whether randomized control trials are the one and only gold standard, whether programs presented to groups should be evaluated at the group or individual level, whether subscribing to principles of prevention selected by the CDC for other disciplines translate well to rape prevention, what constitutes sufficient dosage, and what constitutes a rigorous research program studying an evolving rape prevention intervention.
The present study explored the process of desistance from sexual offending in a sample of 21 men convicted of sexual offenses and released from custody. Each participant was interviewed using the Life History Interview Protocol and transcripts were analyzed using NVivo software. The postrelease experiences of each participant were examined and particular attention was paid to the variables previously identified in three established theories of desistance: natural desistance, cognitive transformation, and achievement of informal social controls. Qualitative narrative analysis was conducted to explore the presence of themes of desistance that have previously been identified in nonsexual offenders as well as emergent themes unique to this particular sample. Results underscored the relevance of natural desistance for a small group and the importance of cognitive transformation within the context of treatment for a majority of participants. Emergent themes were mostly related to the negative impact of recent policies on participants' ability to find accommodation, employment, and relationships.
The study objectives were to (a) examine the association between total number of trauma types experienced and child/adolescent behavioral problems and (b) determine whether the number of trauma types experienced predicted youth behavioral problems above and beyond demographic characteristics, using a diverse set of 20 types of trauma. Data came from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's (NCTSN) Core Data Set (CDS), which includes youth assessed and treated for trauma across the United States. Participants who experienced at least one type of trauma were included in the sample (N = 11,028; age = 1½-18 years; 52.3% girls). Random effects models were used to account for possible intraclass correlations given treatment services were provided at different NCTSN centers. Logistic regression analyses were used to investigate associations among demographic characteristics, trauma, and emotional and behavioral problems as measured by the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Significant dose-response relations were found between total number of trauma types and behavior problems for all CBCL scales, except Sleep, one of the subscales only administered to 1½- to 5-year-olds. Thus, each additional trauma type endorsed significantly increased the odds for scoring above the clinical threshold. Results provide further evidence of strong associations between diverse traumatic childhood experiences and a diverse range of behavior problems, and underscore the need for a trauma-informed public health and social welfare approach to prevention, risk reduction, and early intervention for traumatized youth.
Thirty years after the first national estimates of intimate partner violence were published, the field has reached such a level of maturity that complex questions can be posed and sophisticated research studies can be designed to answer them. Out of this body of research, one of the most important things that researchers have learned is that violence and trauma are experienced in different ways by different individuals and as a result, require different types of prevention and intervention approaches. With this greater understanding of the problems of violence and trauma, together with a commitment to inclusive and practical research, the field is poised to move forward toward the ultimate goal of violence prevention.
Empirical analysis of homicides in which children have killed parents has been limited. The most comprehensive statistical analysis involving parents as victims was undertaken by Heide and used Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for the 10-year period 1977 to 1986. This article provides an updated examination of characteristics of victims, offenders, and offenses in parricide incidents using SHR data for the 24-year period 1976 to 1999. The analysis proceeds in two stages. First, offense (homicide circumstances), victim (age, race), and offender (age, race, sex) correlates are reported. Second, juvenile involvement in incidents in which parents were killed is examined and a determination is made whether changes in youth involvement in parricide offenses are discernible over the 24-year period. The article concludes with a comparison of findings that emerged from 24 years of data with those from the earlier 10-year period and the discussion of the significance of these findings.
Two studies examined the psychometric properties of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) subscale of the SCL-90-R. Study 1 examined SCL-90-R responses from 2,361 college women to determine whether this subscale can appropriately assess the three dimensions of PTSD. Factor analysis and Cronbach's alpha suggest that this subscale is best conceptualized as a unidimensional index of PTSD symptomatology. Study 2 confirmed these results in a sample of 1,044 college men and women. Findings in the second sample also supported the subscale's validity, as it correlates well with the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale and with trauma frequency and can discriminate between individuals with and without PTSD diagnoses. Results suggest that the SCL-90-R PTSD subscale is a reliable, but unidimensional, measure for screening for distress associated with PTSD. Although there is some support for the usefulness of this scale, especially with women, it should only be considered a general indicator of distress with limited use for men.
Nonfamily child abductions have a low rate of occurrence despite the media attention and public hysteria that these types of cases often attract. Although the annual incident rate is low, nonfamily child abductions are emotionally charged crimes that can rapidly overwhelm law enforcement resources. The 24-hour period following an abduction is critical, and law enforcement must be prepared to respond immediately and effectively. The purpose of the present research is to obtain demographic and background history on convicted nonfamily child abductors who have murdered their victims. Data for the study were obtained through interviews of incarcerated offenders and review of case documents. To date, interviews with 25 child abductors who murdered their victims have been conducted within various prison facilities.
The present study examined the impact of domestic violence (DV) on children's emotion regulation abilities measured via baseline vagal tone (VT). Specifically, the authors examined the relationship between DV exposure and children's regulatory functioning over time, investigating whether DV exposure was related to the trajectory of children's physiological regulatory abilities from the preschool period to middle childhood. Covariates, including marital dissatisfaction and conduct-problem status, along with potential gender differences, were examined. Though all children increased in baseline VT from Time 1 to Time 2, children exposed to DV displayed less increase in baseline VT over time as compared to nonexposed children. Results in terms of the long-term outcomes of DV on children and implications for interventions were taken into consideration and discussed in the article.
The purpose of this article is to describe an exploratory study examining the relationship between intimate partner violence and psychological stressors in a sample of 188 adult abortion patients. Results indicate the almost 15% of respondents report a history of abuse by the coconceiving partner. In addition, women who reported having had one or more past abortions were more likely to also report that the person involved in the current pregnancy had also emotionally abused them. Women reporting one type of partner abuse were significantly more likely to also report other types of abuse. Women reporting abuse were less likely to report informing their coconceiving partner of their appointment at the clinic, less likely to report that their partner contributed financially to the abortion cost, and more likely to report partner refusal to wear a condom. Women who reported emotional abuse were more likely to score higher on all but one of the psychological stressor scales. The implications of these findings are discussed.
In the parent intervention outcome literatures, discipline practices are generally quantified as absolute frequencies or, less commonly, as relative frequencies. These differences in methodology warrant direct comparison as they have critical implications for study results and conclusions among treatments targeted at reducing parental aggression and harsh discipline. In this study, we directly compared the absolute frequency method and the relative frequency method for quantifying physically aggressive, psychologically aggressive, and nonaggressive discipline practices. Longitudinal data over a 3-year period came from an existing data set of a clinical trial examining the effectiveness of a psychosocial treatment in reducing parental physical and psychological aggression and improving child behavior (N = 139). Discipline practices (aggressive and nonaggressive) were assessed using the Conflict Tactics Scale. The two methods yielded different patterns of results, particularly for nonaggressive discipline strategies. We suggest that each method makes its own unique contribution to a more complete understanding of the association between parental aggression and intervention effects.
Recent attention has been given by researchers to exploring economic abuse strategies used by abusers. However, little research has been conducted to understanding how to conceptualize economic abuse in relation to other forms of abuse. This article examines the factor structure of abusive items from the Scale of Economic Abuse-12 and the Abusive Behavior Inventory through confirmatory factor analyses using data collected with 457 female survivors of abuse. The findings provide evidence for conceptualizing economic abuse as a unique form of abuse moderately correlated with psychological, physical, and sexual forms of abuse.
Prevention research on the related problems of child abuse, youth violence, and domestic violence has grown at an accelerating pace in recent years. In this context, a set of shared methodological issues has emerged as investigators seek to advance the interpersonal violence prevention knowledge base. This article considers some of the persistent methodological issues in these areas and points out emerging research strategies that are forging advances in garnering valid, rigorous, and useful knowledge to prevent interpersonal violence. Research issues and emerging strategies in three key domains of prevention research are considered, including complexities in validly conceptualizing and measuring varying forms of violence as specific targets for preventive intervention, research issues and strategies designed to reliably predict and identify future violence risk to be targeted by preventive intervention, and research issues and emerging strategies in the application of empirical methods to forge specific advances in preventive intervention strategies themselves.
A concern in the intervention with sexually abused children is the support of their nonoffending guardians after disclosure of the abuse. Approximately a third of nonoffending guardians respond with vacillation in support, and these nonoffending guardians are at greater risk for having their children removed. This article reconceptualizes vacillation in support as an ambivalent response. Drawing on the interdisciplinary literature, this article suggests that ambivalence in support reflects the confluence between the nonoffending guardian's valence toward the child and perpetrator. This article further proposes that ambivalence is normative when the costs of disclosure are high and when the nonoffending guardian is ambivalent/preoccupied in attachment. Ambivalence may also be both a precursor to and an effect of the traumatic experience of the disclosure on the nonoffending guardian. In a study of 30 nonoffending mothers whose partners sexually abused their children, these relationships were supported.
Male survivors of childhood sexual abuse face challenges resolving sexual victimization experiences with the ideals of masculinity, often experiencing intimacy problems, emotional discomfort, alienation, and anger. Little attention has been paid to how male survivors learn to develop long-term connections, disclose emotions in relationship contexts, and negotiate intimacy. The current qualitative study of 16 adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse, examined the relational challenges and the processes by which these survivors improved their capacity for seeking and participating in supportive relationships over time. Several mechanisms associated with positive adaptation were identified in their narratives, including engaging in safe relationships; gaining a sense of belonging by locating a community of others with shared experiences; learning healthy ways to manage relationships through setting boundaries, controlling anger, building trust, and developing intimacy; and achieving acceptance. Clinical implications and future directions for research and intervention are presented.
This study investigated the roles of respondent, perpetrator, and victim gender on attributions toward a 10- or 15-year-old victim and an adult perpetrator in a hypothetical sexual abuse case. It was predicted (a) that female respondents would be more provictim and antiperpetrator than men, (b) that 10-year-old victims would be deemed more credible than 15-year-olds, and (c) that men would deem a 15-year-old male victim more culpable when child sexual abuse is perpetrated by a female abuser. Three hundred thirty-seven respondents read a 350-word sexual abuse depiction in which victim age, victim gender, and perpetrator gender were varied between respondents. Respondents then completed a 14-item attribution scale, relating to victim blame, perpetrator blame, assault severity, and victim credibility. A series of ANOVAs revealed support for all predictions. Results are discussed in relation to gender role attitudes. Suggestions for future work also considered.
Numerous research studies document the negative mental health outcomes associated with the experience of childhood sexual abuse. In addition, factors such as one's relationship with the perpetrator and the severity of the abuse predict the likelihood of future mental health problems. Less attention, however, has focused on the age of the perpetrator, and recent years have seen an increased interest in children who display sexual behavior problems. College students completed measures of mental health functioning and retrospective reports of maltreatment histories. Participants were categorized as abused by an adult (n = 48), teenager (n = 39), or another child (n = 37), and non-abused (n = 219). Victims of abuse, regardless of perpetrator age, displayed higher levels of mental health problems than non-abused participants. There were no differences between the abused groups on any of the mental health outcomes; however, individuals who were abused by other children were less likely to label their experiences as abuse.
Rape myths are prejudicial and stereotyped beliefs about rape which persist in society. They may have a significant impact on those affected by rape as well as the performance of legal and public participants in the justice system. Rape myths may differ over time and within different societies and cultural settings. Awareness of contemporary and local rape myths is necessary if they are to be successfully challenged through public campaigns and other means. This study sought to assess the prevalence of myths concerning rape and sexual abuse in a national population survey.
This study reports a grounded theory study of the process of how children tell of their experiences of child sexual abuse from the perspectives of young people and their parents. Individual interviews were conducted with 22 young people aged 8 to 18, and 14 parents. A theoretical model was developed that conceptualises the process of disclosure as one of containing the secret of child sexual abuse. Three key dynamics were identified: the active withholding of the secret on the part of the child, the experience of a 'pressure cooker effect' reflecting a conflict between the wish to tell and the wish to keep the secret, and the confiding itself which often occurs in the context of an intimacy being shared. Children's experiences of disclosure were multidetermined and suggest the need for multifaceted and multisystemic approaches to prevention and intervention. The need for the secret to be contained, individually and interpersonally in appropriate safeguarding and therapeutic contexts needs to be respected in helping children tell.
This study explored the growth experiences of women abused by their intimate partner, specifically focusing on the associations between social services and empowerment, perceived changes of self, and life satisfaction. The potential effects of demographic variables, social support, coping, and experience of partner abuse were also explored. A survey study was conducted through the collaboration of social workers in the Centers of Prevention and Intervention for Domestic Violence and private sectors in Taiwan. Through contact by their social workers, 191 participants completed the questionnaires. The results revealed that the participants had growth mainly in their psychological and interpersonal domains. The independent variables in the regression model explained 45.3% (adjusted) variance in perceived changes of self. In addition to empowerment and negative impact of violence, intensity of contact and professional relationship were two important service variables that directly and significantly correlated with perceived changes of self. A significant amount of variance (adjusted R² = .556) in life satisfaction could be explained by the independent variables. Social support and empowerment directly correlated with life satisfaction. The findings also supported the mediation effect of empowerment. Seven variables (e.g., social support, coping method, and professional relationship) indirectly associated with perceived changes of self and life satisfaction through empowerment.
The aim of the study was to examine whether maternal depression, mothers' and fathers' parenting, child physical punishment and negative life events (NLE) mediate the effect of maternal childhood abuse (CA), intimate partner violence (IPV) and cumulative violence (both CA and IPV) on Spanish children's and adolescents' psychopathology. Furthermore, multiple mediator models examine whether IPV mediates the effect of CA on the contextual and family factors mentioned above. Three hundred and eighteen Spanish outpatients aged 7 to 18 and their parents were assessed using a structured interview and other instruments for measuring the study variables. Structural equation models (SEMs) showed multiple pathways explaining psychopathological problems among offspring of mothers who suffered CA, IPV and both of these violent experiences. In particular, mothers' depression mediated the link between maternal CA, IPV, cumulative violence and children's externalizing, and total behavior problems. Child NLE was an important pathway between maternal CA and total behavior problems, as well as between cumulative violence and both externalizing and total problems. IPV contributed to explaining the link between maternal CA and contextual and family factors, such as child physical punishment and NLE, which were in turn, associated with children's behavior problems. Findings show the complex interconnections between different types of violence and their harmful effects on the mental health of women and their offspring, as well as the need to extend our knowledge on this subject.
Child sexual abuse (CSA) often requires psychological treatment to address the symptoms of victim trauma. Barriers to entry and completion of counseling services can compromise long-term well-being. An integrated medical and mental health evaluation and treatment model of a child advocacy center (CAC) has the potential to reduce barriers to mental health treatment.
(a) to describe characteristics between CSA patients who engage versus those who do not engage in mental health treatment and (b) to identify factors associated with successful completion of mental health treatment goals. For design/setting, a retrospective cohort study was conducted of CSA patients (ages 3-16 years) referred to mental health services following a CAC assessment. Outcome variables included linkage with treatment and completion of treatment. Independent variables included demographics, abuse characteristics, and therapist characteristics. Data were abstracted from the CAC and billing databases.
Four hundred ninety subjects were evaluated. Subjects were as follows: predominately female (74%), White (60%), and more than half received Medicaid (56%). Mean age was 8.4 years. About 52% linked with mental health services and 39% of patients that successfully linked with mental health services completed therapy. Successful linkage was independently associated with referrals to other counseling services (AOR 8.4 [2.5, 27.7]). Successful completion of therapy was independently associated with caregiver participation in therapy (AOR 3.2 [1.8, 6.0]) and if the patient was referred to other counseling services (AOR 4.1 [1.9, 8.5]). There were no differences between subjects that linked and/or completed therapy and those that did not with regard to demographic characteristics or abuse severity.
In contrast to previous reports, efforts at our CAC seem to overcome linkage barriers in this population. However, there remain challenges in achieving successful completion of treatment goals in this population. Engaging caregivers' involvement in therapy services had a positive effect with successfully achieving treatment goals.
This study examines the intra- and intergenerational links between intimate partner violence (IPV) and animal abuse by analyzing a national, longitudinal, and multigenerational sample of 1,614 individuals collected by the National Youth Survey Family Study from 1990 to 2004. Using multilevel random-intercept regression modeling, parents' own history of animal abuse is predictive of their later involvement in IPV perpetration and victimization, net of important controls. In turn, parents' IPV violent perpetration (but not violent victimization) is predictive of their children's history of animal abuse-measured 14 years later. Intergenerational continuity of animal abuse, however, is not significant. Implications of these findings are discussed, as are the study's limitations, and future research directions.
This study examines the face validity and feasibility of materials included in a multimedia child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention campaign. A quantitative survey method assessed participants' comfort level, knowledge gain, and likelihood of behavioral change in response to the media campaign. Furthermore, a focus group method explored participants' attitudes and opinions regarding the campaign and the unique effects of ethnic or cultural norms on participants' acceptance of the media materials. Six groups, established based on participant ethnicity (i.e., three Caucasian groups, two African American groups, one Hispanic group), met at two sites in the Charleston, South Carolina, area. Quantitative data suggest that participants reported increased CSA knowledge and low levels of discomfort or anxiety related to exposure to the materials. Focus group results suggest that study participants, regardless of ethnic background, agreed that the media campaign can have a positive impact on public knowledge of CSA. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.