Cumulative interpersonal traumas and social support as risk and resiliency factors in predicting PTSD and depression among inner-city women

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Abstract

This study represents one of the largest examinations of how child abuse, adult rape, and social support impact inner-city women (N = 777). Using retrospective self-report, the effects of interpersonal trauma were shown to be cumulative such that women who experienced either child abuse or adult rape were 6 times more likely to have probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), whereas women who experienced both child abuse and rape were 17 times more likely to have probable PTSD. High social support predicted lower PTSD severity for women who experienced both child abuse and adult rape, but not for women who reported one or none of these traumas. Results suggest that social support, when left intact, might buffer the cumulative impact of child and adult interpersonal traumas.

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