Mental Health Consequences of Intimate Partner Abuse

California State University, Fullerton, CA, USA.
Violence Against Women (Impact Factor: 1.33). 07/2008; 14(6):634-54. DOI: 10.1177/1077801208319283
Source: PubMed


Battered women are exposed to multiple forms of intimate partner abuse. This article explores the independent contributions of physical violence, sexual coercion, psychological abuse, and stalking on symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression among a sample of 413 severely battered, help-seeking women. The authors test the unique effects of psychological abuse and stalking on mental health outcomes, after controlling for physical violence, injuries, and sexual coercion. Mean scores for the sample fall into the moderate to severe range for PTSD and within the moderate category for depression scores. Hierarchical regressions test the unique effects of stalking and psychological abuse, after controlling for physical violence, injuries, and sexual coercion. Psychological abuse and stalking contribute uniquely to the prediction of PTSD and depression symptoms, even after controlling for the effects of physical violence, injuries, and sexual coercion. Results highlight the importance of examining multiple dimensions of intimate partner abuse.

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Available from: Mindy B Mechanic
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    • "Furthermore, partner abuse, as a traumatic stressor, can lead to the development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which involves distressing memories, nightmares, insomnia, and loss of concentration (American Psychiatric Association 1994). At the moment, the rates of PTSD among battered women range from 31 to 84 %, as compared to the rates found among general community samples of women, which range from 1 to 12 % (Mechanic et al. 2008). Abused women also experience more negative life events and daily hassles than do non-battered women (Campbell and Lewandowski 1997; Eby et al. 1995). "
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    ABSTRACT: Intimate partner violence is a major health problem for women; some of the most common symptoms of violence are depression, psychological distress, and sleep disturbances. In this parallel randomized controlled trial, which took place in Athens-Greece, abused women were randomly assigned to undergo either an 8-week stress management program (n = 16; relaxation breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, twice a day counseling) or standard shelter services (n = 18). Self-reported validated measures were used to evaluate perceived stress, health locus of control, depression, and ways of coping. In participants in the intervention group, perceived stress was significantly decreased after 8 weeks of relaxation, showing a medium effect of 0.45, but no significant results were noted for sleeping hours, health locus of control, depression, and ways of coping. These results reveal the need to develop interventions for this vulnerable population and future studies should incorporate more objective laboratory outcomes.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of Family Violence
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    • "Not only do the symptoms of depression and PTSD persist, but depression is highly likely to co-occur with PTSD [17]. Comorbid depression and PTSD are especially common among women who have experienced multiple traumas [18] or gender-based violence [19]. Multiple forms of psychological distress compound each other, such that women with comorbid depression and PTSD suffer from much greater impairment relative to women with depression alone [20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background In South Africa, alcohol use poses a public health burden. Hazardous alcohol use often co-occurs with psychological distress (e.g., depression and post-traumatic stress). However, the majority of the research establishing the relationship between alcohol use and psychological distress has been cross-sectional, so the nature of co-occurring changes in psychological distress and alcohol use over time is not well characterized. The objective of this study is to examine the longitudinal relationship between psychological distress and alcohol use among South African women who attend alcohol serving venues.Methods Four waves of data were collected over the course of a year from 560 women in a Cape Town township who attended drinking venues. At each assessment wave, participants reported depressive symptoms, post-traumatic stress symptoms, and alcohol use. Multilevel growth models were used to: 1) assess the patterns of alcohol use; 2) examine how depressive symptoms uniquely, post-traumatic stress symptoms uniquely, and depressive and post-traumatic stress symptoms together were associated with alcohol use; and 3) characterize the within person and between person associations of depressive symptoms and post-traumatic stress symptoms with alcohol use.ResultsWomen reported high levels of alcohol use throughout the study period, which declined slightly over time. Post-traumatic stress symptoms were highly correlated with depressive symptoms. Modeled separately, both within person and between person depressive and post-traumatic stress symptoms were uniquely associated with alcohol use. When modeled together, significant between person effects indicated that women who typically have more post-traumatic stress symptoms, when controlling for depressive symptoms, are at risk for increased alcohol use; however, women with more depressive symptoms, controlling for post-traumatic stress symptoms, do not have differential risk for alcohol use. Significant within person effects indicated an interaction between depressive and post-traumatic stress symptoms; women reported more alcohol use than usual at times when they had higher post-traumatic stress symptoms, and this increase in alcohol use was further exacerbated for women who also had higher depressive symptoms than usual.Conclusions These findings suggest that interventions targeting post-traumatic stress, especially when post-traumatic stress is comorbid with depression, may reduce alcohol use among South African women who drink.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · BMC Psychiatry
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    • "Although knowledge of the comparative health effects of different types of IPV is limited, some studies have indicated that victims’ exposure to psychological aggression may be more strongly associated with the onset of depression, anxiety, somatisation, and post-traumatic stress disorder than other types of IPV [9,14,20,22-24]. Coker et al. [14] reported both physical and psychological IPV to be associated with significant physical and mental health consequences in victims regardless of gender. "
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    ABSTRACT: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is yet to be fully acknowledged as a public health problem in Slovenia. This study aimed to explore the health and other patient characteristics associated with psychological IPV exposure and gender-related specificity in family clinic attendees. In a multi-centre cross-sectional study, 960 family practice attendees aged 18 years and above were recruited. In 689 interviews with currently- or previously-partnered patients, the short form of A Domestic Violence Exposure Questionnaire and additional questions about behavioural patterns of exposure to psychological abuse in the past year were given. General practitioners (GPs) reviewed the medical charts of 470 patients who met the IPV exposure criteria. The Domestic Violence Exposure Medical Chart Check List was used, collecting data on the patients' lives and physical, sexual and reproductive, and psychological health status, as well as sick leave, hospitalisation, visits to family practices and referrals to other clinical specialists in the past year. In multivariate logistic regression modelling the factors associated with past year psychological IPV exposure were identified, with P < 0.05 set as the level of statistical significance. Of the participants (n = 470), 12.1% (n = 57) were exposed to psychological IPV in the previous year (46 women and 11 men). They expressed more complaints regarding sexual and reproductive (p = 0.011), and psychological and behavioural status (p <0.001), in the year prior to the survey. Unemployment or working part-time, a college degree, an intimate relationship of six years or more and a history of disputes in the intimate relationship, increased the odds of psychological IPV exposure in the sample, explaining 41% of the variance. In females, unemployment and a history of disputes in the intimate relationship explained 43% of the variance. The prevalence of psychological IPV above 10% during the past year was similar to earlier studies in Slovenia, although the predominance of better-educated people might be associated with lower tolerance toward psychological abuse. GPs should pay special attention to unemployed patients and those complaining about family disputes, to increase early detection.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · BMC Public Health
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