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Predicting the Psychosocial Effects of Interpersonal Partner Violence (IPV): How Much Does a Woman's History of IPV Matter?

NCJ Number
Journal of Interpersonal Violence Volume: 18 Issue: 11 Dated: November 2003 Pages: 1271-1291
Date Published
November 2003
21 pages
This study explored whether psychosocial indicators and severity of violence could be predicted from a woman's continuity and history of interpersonal partner violence (IPV).
This study indicated the importance of assessing the participant’s history of IPV when examining the effects of violence and psychosocial outcomes. Chronicity of violence across partners and time was related to worse psychosocial outcomes and greater severity of IPV. However, recency of IPV and continuity of IPV with one's current partner affected psychosocial outcomes more negatively than more distal indicators of IPV (IPV only with previous partner, and IPV prior to the current pregnancy). Neither recency (last 6 months) nor continuity of IPV with one’s partner fully explained the psychosocial outcomes of participants when examining groups beyond those having no IPV and chronic IPV. The findings suggest that grouping women into IPV versus no IPV based only on experiences during the past six months may inadvertently categorize someone as being nonabused, when in fact they are with partners who have abused them prior to the last 6 months. Future research should attempt to assess retrospective histories of IPV in more detail, but more importantly, perspective, longitudinal studies are needed to examine these issues without the biases inherent in retrospective methodologies. The participants were 205 ethnically and socioeconomically diverse women recruited as part of an ongoing longitudinal study examining risk and resilience factors for IPV in women and children. Figure, table, notes, and references

Date Published: November 1, 2003