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Partner's Stake in Conformity and Abused Wives' Psychological Trauma

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2008
20 pages
This study examines the manner in which help-seeking buffers the impact of intimate assault on women’s psychological trauma.
This study investigates the potential buffering effect of help-seeking in the association between intimate partner assault and women's psychological trauma, and how this, in turn, may depend on the partner's stake in conformity. The sample consists of 374 women reporting the experience of domestic violence from a current intimate partner, drawn from the larger survey Violence and Threats of Violence Against Women and Men in the United States, 1994-1996. Help-seeking did not appear to buffer the impact of assault severity, contrary to expectation. However, the partner's stake in conformity did condition the effect of his or her having been arrested. Victims had higher levels of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when police arrested partners of average or below-average stake in conformity. But victims of partners characterized by higher than average stake in conformity did not show elevated PTSD due to their partners having been arrested. On the other hand, PTSD was higher among women experiencing more emotional abuse from the partner. (Published Abstract)

Date Published: October 1, 2008