Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Intimate partner violence, depression, PTSD, and use of mental health resources among ethnically diverse black women

TitleIntimate partner violence, depression, PTSD, and use of mental health resources among ethnically diverse black women
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsSabri, B, Bolyard, R, McFadgion, AL, Stockman, JK, Lucea, MB, Callwood, GB, Coverston, CR, Campbell, JC
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
ISBN Number1541-034X (Electronic)0098-1389 (Linking)
Accession Number23581838
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, African Americans/ psychology, Baltimore/epidemiology, Battered Women/ psychology, Case-Control Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Depression/ ethnology, Female, Humans, Mental Health Services/ utilization, Middle Aged, Sexual Partners, Spouse Abuse/ethnology/ psychology, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/ ethnology, Virgin Islands of the United States/ethnology, Young Adult

This study examined exposure to violence and risk for lethality in intimate partner relationships as factors related to co-occurring MH problems and use of mental health (MH) resources among women of African descent. Black women with intimate partner violence (IPV) experiences (n = 431) were recruited from primary care, prenatal or family planning clinics in the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Severity of IPV was significantly associated with co-occurring MH problems, but was not associated with the use of MH resources among African-American women. Risk for lethality and co-occurring problems were also not significantly related to the use of resources. African Caribbean women with severe physical abuse experiences were significantly less likely to use resources. In contrast, severity of physical abuse was positively associated with the use of resources among Black women with mixed ethnicity. Severe IPV experiences are risk factors for co-occurring MH problems, which in turn, increases the need for MH services. However, Black women may not seek help for MH problems. Thus, social work practitioners in health care settings must thoroughly assess women for their IPV experiences and develop tailored treatment plans that address their abuse histories and MH needs.