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Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health problem associated with high rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Few longitudinal studies have investigated IPV-related PTSD and we know of only 1 longitudinal study to date that has explored IPV-related PTSD in residents of battered women's shelters. The current report describes a prospective study of IPV-related PTSD in an initial sample of 147 residents of battered women's shelters. Baseline correlates of remission of IPV-related PTSD (i.e., PTSD and IPV severity, loss of personal and social resources, cessation of abuse, reunion with abuser, and length of shelter stay) over a 6-month follow-up period were investigated. Although findings are consistent with prior research suggesting a natural recovery of PTSD in IPV-victims, they also show that a significant number (46.8%) of women exhibit chronic PTSD. Participants whose PTSD remitted over follow-up had at baseline less severe IPV-related PTSD (partial η2 = .104) and fewer loss of personal and social resources (partial η2 = .095), and were less likely to reunite with their abuser after leaving the shelter than participants with chronic PTSD (3.3% and 22.4%, respectively). Clinical implications and limitations of findings are discussed.