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Keywords:

  • lifetime trauma;
  • interpersonal violence;
  • social support;
  • PTSD

Abstract

We examined social support as a protective factor in the relationship between lifetime exposure to traumatic events and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptomatology among urban women. Seventy-six women who sought care in a trauma center for injuries from physical or sexual violence completed an interview. When tangible support, rather than total social support, and the interaction of tangible support and lifetime trauma were tested, tangible support moderated the relationship between lifetime trauma and PTSD. Given the complex etiology of lifetime trauma, risk for future trauma and the health needs of women who have experienced trauma, a broader range of intervention strategies that include attention to tangible support need to be developed and evaluated. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 30:558–568, 2007