Association between Physical Partner Violence, Posttraumatic Stress, Childhood Trauma, and Suicide Attempts in a Community Sample of Women

By Seedat, Soraya; Stein, Murray B. et al. | Violence and Victims, February 2005 | Go to article overview

Association between Physical Partner Violence, Posttraumatic Stress, Childhood Trauma, and Suicide Attempts in a Community Sample of Women


Seedat, Soraya, Stein, Murray B., Forde, David R., Violence and Victims


Our objective was to estimate the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) and to explore its association with childhood maltreatment, substance misuse, posttraumatic stress, and suicidal behavior in a representative community sample of women. IPV was operationalized as a "physical attack or beating by a spouse, boyfriend, or live-in partner." We surveyed 637 women in Memphis, Tennessee, by telephone survey. Sixteen percent reported ever experiencing IPV by a male partner, and 75% endorsed multiple assaultive acts. Of abused women, 5.9% met current PTSD diagnostic criteria, and an additional 11.8% were assessed with subthreshold symptoms. Abused women were more likely than other women to be divorced, to have less than 13 years education, to endorse high levels of childhood victimization, to have abused drugs and alcohol, and to have attempted suicide. Twenty-three percent of IPV+ (abused) women reported a suicide attempt at some time in their lives compared with 3% of IPV- (nonabused) women (p < .0001). Further, multiple logistic regression analysis showed that childhood sexual and emotional abuse and low educational attainment were the only significant predictors of IPV. These results suggest that in women who endorse IPV, careful inquiry of past abuse, trauma-related symptoms, suicidal behavior, and drug use may be important, so that interventions can be both timely and appropriate.

Keywords: partner violence; childhood abuse; alcohol; suicide; posttraumatic stress; survey; women

Intimate partner violence (IPV) in women is known to be associated with poor health behaviors, compromised mental and physical status, and increased use of health care services (Campbell, 2002; Coker et al., 2002; Hathaway et al., 2000; Hegarty, Gunn, Chondros & Small, 2004; Lown & Vega, 2001; Nicolaidis, Curry, McFarland, & Gerrity, 2004). It has been suggested that repeated physical assault by an intimate partner may directly increase the risk of injury and chronic disease, while chronic psychological abuse may affect physical health indirectly (Coker, Smith, Bethea, King, & McKeown, 2000; Kramer, Lorenzon, & Mueller, 2004). Population-based surveys estimate that between 10% and 50% of women who have ever had an intimate male partner have suffered IPV at some time in their lives (Jewkes, Penn-Kekana, Levin, Ratsaka, & Schrieber, 2001; Watts & Zimmerman, 2002). The Commonwealth Fund's 1998 Survey of Women's Health (Plichta & Falik, 2001), a nationally representative sample of women in the US (n = 2,850), found a lifetime prevalence of 35%. In data from 8,005 women in the National Violence Against Women Survey, the lifetime prevalence of physical IPV alone was 13.3% and the strongest risk factor for IPV was physical assault as a child (Coker et al., 2002).

Not surprisingly, a growing literature suggests that women who suffer physical and sexual abuse in childhood are at an increased risk for abuse in adulthood. For example, in a population-based telephone survey, women who reported childhood physical abuse or the witnessing of interparental violence were at a four- to six-fold higher risk of physical IPV (Bensley, Van Eenwyk, & Wynkoop Simmons, 2003). In women attending primary care practices in the UK, Coid and colleagues (2001) found a significant association between childhood experiences and IPV, namely unwanted sexual intercourse (adjusted odds ratio = 3.5) and severe beatings on more than one occasion (adjusted odds ratio = 3.6). Emerging data also support an association between the number of different types of victimization experiences (physical partner violence, child sexual assault, and adult sexual assault) and trauma symptom severity (Follette, Polusny, Bechtle, & Naugle, 1996). While childhood trauma may confound the relationship between IPV and health outcomes, a recent study by McNutt, Carlson, Persaud, and Postmus (2002) found that women with recent IPV had physical symptoms and risky health behaviors that were not wholly explained by the effects of child abuse, past IPV, and economic disadvantage. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Association between Physical Partner Violence, Posttraumatic Stress, Childhood Trauma, and Suicide Attempts in a Community Sample of Women
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.