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Abstract

The current study aims to further our understanding of the applicability of the transtheoretical model (TM) to intimate partner violence (IPV), with particular focus on mental health symptoms (depression, posttraumatic stress disorder symptomatology, suicidal ideation) in a sample of low-income African American women seeking medical services at an inner city emergency department. Results revealed that of the 121 abused African American women, the majority (95%) were in the precontemplation and contemplation stages of the change process. Further, contrary to predictions, bivariate analyses revealed those at further stages of change endorsed more severe mental health symptoms. However, a multivariate analysis of variance examining differences in level of mental health symptoms between women high and low on stages of change was inconclusive due to the small number of women at the higher stages of the TM model. These findings contribute to the growing body of literature supporting the TM as applied to IPV. Results are discussed in terms of applicability to intervention design. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 62: 1531–1543, 2006.