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2006 HSR&D National Meeting Abstract

3056 — An Examination of Interpersonal Violence in Women with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder

Author List:
Roberts ST (Durham VAMC; VISN 6 MIRECC)
Dennis MF (Durham VAMC; VISN 6 MIRECC)
Calhoun PS (Durham VAMC; VISN 6 MIRECC)
Beckham JC (Durham VAMC; VISN 6 MIRECC)

Interpersonal violence has been shown to occur frequently in male Vietnam veterans with PTSD. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate interpersonal violence in a sample of women with current posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and a comparison group.

Data were collected from a sample of 148 women who met current criteria for PTSD, MDD, or neither of these diagnoses. The mean age of women in this study was 40 years. Minorities represented 55% of the sample. PTSD was measured using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale – Diagnostic Version (CAPS). Both the participants and an intimate partner or spouse completed the Standard Family Violence (SFVI) subscale of Straus’s (1979) Conflict-Tactics Scale (CTS). Items included on the violence subscale include behaviors of doing something to spite the other person, throwing something at someone, pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping, kicking, biting, hitting, beating up, threatening with a gun or knife, or using a gun or knife on someone. Multiple ANOVAs were conducted to investigate interpersonal violence in the study groups.

ANOVAs indicated there were significant group differences for both participant and partner in self-reported past year interpersonal violence ( F(2, 143) = 8.50, p < .01 and F(2, 138) = 3.45, p < .05, respectively). Post hoc analyses using Bonferroni indicated that women with PTSD (M = 1.96, SD = 1.50) committed more violent behaviors than the control group (M = 1.20, SD = 0.60), and that compared to women without PTSD (M = 1.29, SD = 0.84), women with PTSD (M = 1.87, SD = 1.51) reported their partners were more interpersonally violent during a disagreement or argument in the past year. No differences between the MDD group and other two groups were detected.

Results of the current investigation parallel those of a previous investigation of male Vietnam veterans, and extend these findings by indicating partners of women with PTSD are also more interpersonally violent as well.

Women with PTSD and their spouses should be screened for interpersonal violence as they may benefit from treatment addressing violent behavior issues.

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