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Latent Profiles of PTSD Symptoms in Women Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2015
7 pages
This study examined latent symptom profiles in a sample of women victims of intimate-partner violence (IPV), and explored trauma-related cognitive appraisals associated with these presentations of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Previous studies have used latent class analysis (LCA) and latent profile analysis (LPA) to examine PTSD symptom profiles in a range of populations. Further study is needed to explore symptom profiles among women exposed to IPV. The current study conducted a LPA using cross-sectional data from a non-treatment seeking community sample of women recruited following a police-reported incident of IPV by a male perpetrator (N=229). Multinomial regression analyses determined associations between latent profile membership and trauma-related appraisals. The LPA identified five PTSD symptom profiles: Low Symptom (46 percent of the sample); Low Symptom with High Hypervigilance (17percent); Intermediate Symptom (16 percent); Intermediate Symptom with High Hypervigilance (11 percent); and High Symptom (10 percent). Trauma-related appraisals, including fear, alienation, and self-blame, were the strongest independent predictors of PTSD symptom profile membership. These findings suggest the need for careful consideration of differences among IPV-exposed women within the larger context of PTSD research and clinical intervention. Identifying latent subgroups may provide an empirical basis for practitioners to design and implement PTSD intervention efforts that are tailored to specific symptom profiles. The study focused on female victims of IPV by a male partner, and findings may not generalize to other gender configurations (e.g. same-sex couples, male victims, etc.). The LPA is cross-sectional, and the stability of these profiles over time warrants further study. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: July 1, 2015