Role of distinct PTSD symptoms in intimate partner reabuse: A prospective study

Authors

  • Elizabeth D. Krause,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC
    • Department of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical Center, Kober-Cogan Building., 3rd Floor, 3800 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC 20007
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  • Stacey Kaltman,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC
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  • Lisa Goodman,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC
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    • *

      Lisa Goodman is now at the Department of Counseling and Developmental Psychology, School of Education, Boston College, Boston, MA

  • Mary Ann Dutton

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC
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Abstract

This prospective study examines the impact of four posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom clusters (hyperarousal, reexperiencing, numbing, and avoidance) on reabuse over 1 year among women exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV). The covariates include severity of IPV, a history of childhood violence, and characteristics of the abusive relationship. Although both hyperarousal and numbing symptoms were higher at baseline among women subsequently reabused, only numbing symptoms increased the odds of reabuse after controlling for the covariates. Greater IPV severity and shorter relationship duration also increased the risk of reabuse. Results indicate that specific symptoms of PTSD, especially numbing, need to be addressed to increase the safety of women seeking services for IPV.

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