In this study, the authors examine links between geographic context and characteristics of clinical reactions to intimate partner abuse (IPA).
Existing intimate partner abuse (IPA) research has focused on individual differences that affect women's risk of exposure and posttraumatic symptoms with little consideration of the influence of proximal environments. In this study, the authors examine links between geographic context and characteristics of clinical reactions to IPA. The authors used raster analyses, which address methodological limitations in many geographic information system studies in the social sciences (e.g., reliance on arbitrary boundaries), to examine links between proximal environments and women's (N = 192) reports of IPA characteristics, posttraumatic symptoms, and social support. Psychological-aggression severity varied spatially, which suggests that communities differ in tolerance of this form of IPA. Observed links between spatial characteristics, posttraumatic stress disorder/depression symptom severity, and social support were consistent with the so-called Latino paradox. Women living in areas with greater concentrations of Latinos reported less severe clinical symptoms and greater social support. Living in Latino communities was advantageous in terms of lower depression symptoms regardless of women's own ethnic group membership. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.
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