Trauma Exposure and PTSD Among Women Receiving Treatment for Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration
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Type of Work24 pages
journal articles postprints
Citation of Original PublicationHaley A. Miles-McLean, Adam D. LaMotte, Megan R. Williams, and Christopher M. Murphy, Trauma Exposure and PTSD Among Women Receiving Treatment for Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration , Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1– 24, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260518820634
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Subjectsintimate partner violence
posttraumatic stress disorder
Trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms have been associated with men’s perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV), but relatively little research has examined these associations among women who perpetrate IPV. This exploratory investigation evaluated the associations among trauma, PTSD symptoms, and IPV perpetration for women and a comparison sample of men. During intake at a community-based Abuse Intervention Program (AIP), women (n = 32) and a demographically similar comparison sample of men (n = 64) completed measures of trauma exposure, PTSD symptoms, physical aggression and emotional abuse perpetration, and use of alcohol and other drugs. The vast majority of women (93.5%) reported traumatic event exposure, and close to half (43.8%) screened positive for a probable PTSD diagnosis. Women’s level of PTSD symptoms correlated positively with emotional abuse perpetration, with medium-to-large effect sizes. After controlling for substance use, women’s PTSD symptoms were significantly and positively correlated with physical assault and emotional abuse perpetration. Women reported significantly higher rates of exposure to IPV victimization and had significantly higher rates of probable PTSD and PTSD symptoms than did men from the same AIP. Gender did not significantly moderate the associations between PTSD symptoms and IPV perpetration. Overall, findings indicate that trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms are important correlates of women’s IPV perpetration. Women in treatment for IPV perpetration may benefit from additional assessment and treatment of trauma and trauma-related symptoms.