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Keywords:

  • PTSD;
  • borderline;
  • victimization;
  • intimate partner violence;
  • abuse

Abstract

Research has shown that symptoms of a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are prevalent among victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). Furthermore, positive correlations have been reported between IPV victimization and borderline traits, and borderline traits and PTSD symptomatology. Although there is some evidence that individuals with a borderline disorder are vulnerable to developing PTSD after experiencing trauma, to our knowledge, this has never been studied empirically among a sample of victims of IPV in specific. However, the presence of borderline traits might place these victims at higher risk for developing PTSD symptoms as well. In the current study, associations between PTSD symptoms and borderline traits were examined in a Dutch sample of female help-seeking victims of IPV (n = 120). As hypothesized, it was found that borderline traits significantly add to the vulnerability for development of PTSD in IPV victims, above and beyond the severity of IPV. Results are discussed in the light of practical implications like an early screening for borderline traits in treatment of victims of IPV. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.