Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Mental disorders associated with subpopulations of women affected by violence and abuse

TitleMental disorders associated with subpopulations of women affected by violence and abuse
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsCavanaugh, CE, Martins, SS, Petras, H, Campbell, JC
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Date PublishedAug
ISBN Number1573-6598 (Electronic)0894-9867 (Linking)
Accession Number23813596

Violence against women is a major public health problem associated with mental disorders. Few studies have examined the heterogeneity of interpersonal violence and abuse (IVA) among women and associated mental health problems. Latent class analysis was used to identify subpopulations of women with similar lifetime histories of IVA victimization and to examine 10 associated past-year mental disorders. Participants were 19,816 adult women who participated in Wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). The 3-class model was best supported by the data. Class 1 (6.7%) had a high probability of witnessing domestic violence as a child. Class 2 (21.8%) had a low probability of all events except lifetime sexual assault. Class 3 (71.5%) had a low probability for all events. Mental disorders were more common among members of Classes 1 and 2 than Class 3. For example, members in Class 1 were approximately 8 and 9 times more likely than members in Class 3 to have had posttraumatic stress disorder or a drug use disorder, respectively, during the past year. Of the 10 mental disorders, 5 were more common among members of Class 1 than of Class 2. Findings suggest the mental health consequences of IVA among women are extensive and interventions should be tailored for distinct subpopulations affected by IVA.