Hypervigilance toward ambiguous or threatening stimuli is a prominent feature in many trauma survivors including active and returning soldiers. This study set out to investigate the factors that contribute to hypervigilance in a mixed sample. One hundred and forty-five individuals, 50 of whom were war zone veterans, filled out a series of questionnaires including the Hypervigilance Questionnaire (HVQ;Kimble, Fleming, & Bennion, 2009). Other participants included military cadets, college undergraduates, and a traumatized community sample. In this sample, a history of military deployment and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms independently predicted hypervigilance. The findings suggest that deployment to a war zone, in and of itself, can lead to hypervigilant behavior. Therefore, characterizing hypervigilance as pathological in a veteran sample must be done so with caution.
While the value of resources aimed to support women who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) is clear, few studies have investigated how exposure to multiple types of victimization influences women’s resource utilization. We applied latent class analysis to a sample of 412 women who used IPV in their current relationships to test whether women’s resource utilization is associated with different patterns of victimization, including current IPV victimization, past IPV victimization, and childhood victimization. Three classes of women were identified: the Low Cumulative IPV class (n = 121) included women with a low prevalence of past IPV victimization and low severity of current IPV victimization; The High Past/Low Current IPV class (n = 258) included women with a high prevalence of past IPV victimization but low severity of current IPV victimization; and the High Cumulative IPV class (n = 33) included women with a high prevalence of past IPV victimization and severe current IPV victimization. Multiple types of childhood victimization were highly prevalent among women in all three classes. Women in the High Cumulative IPV class used a greater variety of resources, experienced a greater number of posttraumatic stress and depression symptoms, drug problems, and used more severe IPV aggression compared to women in other classes. These findings highlight the heterogeneity of resource utilization among women in relationships characterized by bidirectional IPV and underscore the potential clinical utility of adapting services to meet the specific needs of women with unique profiles of victimization.
A computerized sign language survey was administered to two large samples of deaf adults. Six questions regarding intimate partner violence (IPV) were included, querying lifetime and past-year experiences of emotional abuse, physical abuse, and forced sex. Comparison data were available from a telephone survey of local households. Deaf respondents reported high rates of emotional abuse and much higher rates of forced sex than general population respondents. Physical abuse rates were comparable between groups. More men than women in both deaf samples reported past-year physical and sexual abuse. Past-year IPV was associated with higher utilization of hospital emergency services. Implications for IPV research, education, and intervention in the Deaf community are discussed.
Evidence indicates an association between victimization and adolescent substance use, but the exact nature of this relationship remains unclear. Some research focuses solely on the consequences of experiencing indirect victimization (e.g., witnessing violence), others examine direct victimization (e.g., being personally victimized), and still others combine both forms of victimization without assessing the relative impact of each on substance use. Furthermore, many of these studies only assess these relationships in the short-term using cross-sectional data. This study uses data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) to explore the impact of experiencingonlyindirect victimization,onlydirect victimization,bothforms of victimization, andnovictimization on substance use at two time points during adolescence. We find that of those adolescents who are victimized, the majority experience indirect victimization only, followed by experiencing both forms of victimization, and experiencing direct victimization only. Each of the victimization experiences were associated with increased contemporaneous substance use, with the strongest effects for those experiencing multiple forms of violence. For all victims, however, the impact on substance use declined over time.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy has been associated with multiple negative health outcomes for the mother, including emotional distress during pregnancy. However, little is known about IPV during pregnancy and its association with emotional distress among pregnant women in South Africa. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of both emotional distress and IPV during pregnancy, to identify whether different exposures of violence and relational control were associated with emotional distress during pregnancy, and to assess whether social support attenuated the relationship between IPV and emotional distress in pregnancy. Pregnant women enrolled in the South Africa HIV Antenatal and Post-test Support Study (SAHAPS) who completed the baseline survey were included in this cross sectional analysis. We used logistic regression models to explore bivariate and multivariate relationships between the proposed covariates and emotional distress. Nearly a quarter of women reported experiencing some type of IPV during the current pregnancy, with psychological violence being the most prevalent. The odds of emotional distress was 1.41 times (95% CI: 1.26–1.57) higher for each additional episode of psychological violence and 2.01 times (95% CI: 1.16–3.77) higher for each additional episode of sexual violence during pregnancy, adjusting for other covariates. Physical violence was only marginally associated with increased odds of emotional distress (A.O.R.: 1.17, 95% CI: .99–1.38) after adjusting for other covariates. Finally, social support was also marginally significant as a main effect, but did not attenuate the relationship between IPV and emotional distress. The high prevalence of IPV among pregnant women in South Africa and its association with emotional distress during pregnancy suggest that interventions that reduce violence during or prior to pregnancy are needed. Such interventions can positively impact IPV and may also ameliorate poor mental health in pregnancy.
Research suggests that many women experience some form of sexual assault in their lifetime and that women who engage in substance abuse often have a higher incidence of past sexual assault than women in the general population. Given the documented rates of sexual assault among women in recovery from substance use, it is important to explore community interventions that promote positive recovery from substance use and sexual assault. One model that promotes successful substance use recovery is the Oxford House—a democratic, self-supported substance use recovery home. Research demonstrated that living in an Oxford House provides sober social support and that this increased social support may promote the use of positive coping strategies to strengthen recovery from substance use, however; the relationship between social support and sexual assault for women is unclear. Thus, the current study examines the Oxford House model for women in recovery from substance use who have experienced sexual assault. A cross-sectional sample of women living in Oxford Houses in the United States was obtained to examine the relationship among disclosure of sexual assault, social support, and self-esteem. Results suggested that many women used Oxford House as a setting in which to disclosure prior sexual assault. Results also indicated that women who disclosed their assault experience reported higher self-esteem and social support than women who had not disclosed. Possible implications include the value of substance abuse recovery homes as a safe, supportive environment for women to address issues related to sexual assault.
In the parent intervention outcome literatures, discipline practices are generally quantified asabsolute frequenciesor, less commonly, asrelative frequencies. These differences in methodology warrant direct comparison as they have critical implications for study results and conclusions among treatments targeted at reducing parental aggression and harsh discipline. In this study, we directly compared the absolute frequency method and the relative frequency method for quantifying physically aggressive, psychologically aggressive, and nonaggressive discipline practices. Longitudinal data over a 3-year period came from an existing data set of a clinical trial examining the effectiveness of a psychosocial treatment in reducing parental physical and psychological aggression and improving child behavior (N= 139;Kolko et al., 2009). Discipline practices (both aggressive and nonaggressive) were assessed using the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS;Straus et al., 1998). The two methods yielded different patterns of results, particularly for nonaggressive discipline strategies. We suggest that each method makes its own unique contribution to a more complete understanding of the association between parental aggression and intervention effects.
Forty substance using, male offenders of intimate partner violence completed measures of alcohol use and relationship status acceptance during a pretreatment screening session. They also completed a measure of verbal aggression after each month of a 12 week intervention program. Treatment length, heavy episodic drinking, and relationship status acceptance were used to assess the frequency of verbal aggression at each of the four assessment periods in a repeated measures ANCOVA. Main effects were detected for both alcohol and acceptance variables such that greater verbal aggression was observed among participants with a recent history of heavy episodic drinking and failure to accept the status of the relationship with their female victim. The interaction between time in treatment and relationship status acceptance was significant and showed that participants who accepted their relationship status reported low verbal aggression across measurement occasions while those who did not accept their relationship status reported high initial verbal aggression that decreased over treatment.
As bystander approaches become increasingly prevalent elements of sexual and domestic violence prevention efforts, it is necessary to better understand the factors that support or impede individuals in taking positive action in the face of aggressive or disrespectful behavior from others. This study presents descriptive findings about the bystander experiences of 27 men who recently became involved in antiviolence against women work. More specifically, we describe the consistency with which respondents actively intervene in the speech or behavior of others, the strategies they use, and the factors they weigh as they deliberate taking action. Respondents report a complex and interrelated set of individual and contextual influences on their choices within bystander opportunities, which hold implications for both violence-specific models of bystander behavior and for prevention intervention development.
Women who exchange sex for money or other goods, that is, female sex workers, are at increased risk of experiencing physical and sexual violence from both paying and intimate partners. Exposure to violence can be exacerbated by alcohol use and HIV/STI risk. The purpose of this study is to examine the efficacy of a HIV/STI risk reduction and enhanced HIV/ STI risk reduction intervention at decreasing paying and intimate partner violence against Mongolian women who exchange sex and engage in harmful alcohol use. Women are recruited and randomized to either (a) four sessions of a relationship-based HIV/STI risk reduction intervention (n= 49), (b) the same HIV/STI risk reduction intervention plus two additional motivational interviewing sessions (n= 58), or (c) a four session control condition focused on wellness promotion (n= 59). All the respondents complete assessments at baseline (preintervention) as well as at immediate posttest, 3 and 6 months postintervention. A multilevel logistic model finds that women who participated in the HIV/STI risk reduction group (OR = 0.14,p< .00), HIV/STI risk reduction and motivational interview group (OR = 0.46,p= .02), and wellness (OR = 0.20,p< .00) group reduced their exposure to physical and sexual violence in the past 90 days. No significant differences in effects are observed between conditions. This study demonstrates the efficacy of a relationship-based HIV/STI risk reduction intervention, a relationship-based HIV/STI risk reduction intervention combined with motivational interviewing, and a wellness promotion intervention in reducing intimate and paying partner violence against women who exchange sex in Mongolia. The findings have significant implications for the impact of minimal intervention and the potential role of peer networks and social support in reducing women’s experiences of violence in resource poor settings.
Women who enter college with a sexual victimization (SV) history may be at particular risk for deleterious outcomes including maladaptive alcohol involve posttraumatic stress, and re-victimization. Further, pre-college SV may be an impediment for the achievement of academic mile and may negatively impact the transition into college. Recent work shows that the method of coercion used in SV may be an important predictor of post-victimization outcomes. As such, the identification of pathways between type of SV and outcomes can aid in early identification and intervention for those at highest risk. In a sample of newly-matriculated female college students, this study examined unique outcomes associated with two specific types of SV, (1) threats/use of physical force (Force SV) or (2) incapacitation (Incap SV). Participants completed assessments of SV, alcohol involvement, posttraumatic stress, and academic outcomes at 6 time-points over their first year of college. Results showed differential outcomes based on pre-matriculation exposure to Force SV or Incap SV. Women with Incap SV were higher on problem drinking indices whereas women with Force SV were at greater risk for re-victimization and marginally more PTSD symptoms. Having a history of either type of SV predicted attrition, but there were no differences when comparing Force SV to Incap SV. Overall, results from this study support the utility of delineating SV experiences by method of coercion, and point to the potential of highlighting different outcomes in tailored intervention programs.
Previous research has suggested a link between athletic involvement and elevated levels of adolescent violence outside the sport context. The present study expanded on this literature by positing differences in the sport/violence relationship across dimensions of athletic involvement (athletic participation vs. jock identity), type of violence (family vs. nonfamily), and gender, as well as examining the impact of binge drinking on the sport/violence relationship. Regression analyses using a sample of 608 Western New York adolescents indicated that (1) jock identity (but not athletic participation) was associated with more frequent violence; (2) jock identity predicted nonfamily violence (but not family violence); and (3) the link between jock identity and nonfamily violence was stronger for boys than for girls. Binge drinking predicted family violence among nonjocks only.
Past theory and empirical research have consistently associated a number of risk factors with sexual assault perpetration. This study extends past research by considering if the tactics which perpetrators use to obtain sex are associated with these risk factors or with characteristics of the sexual assault. Audio computer-assisted self-interviews were completed with a community sample of young, single men. Few participants reported using physical force as a tactic to obtain sex, thus this article focuses on 457 participants who used verbal coercion (n= 152) or the victim’s impairment (n= 39) to obtain sex or who were nonperpetrators (n= 266). Discriminant function analysis correctly classified 70% of participants. As hypothesized, analysis of covariance indicated that both groups of perpetrators scored higher than nonperpetra-tors on measures of negative attitudes toward women, positive attitudes about casual sex, personality traits associated with nonclinical levels of psy-chopathy, antisocial behavior, and alcohol problems. As compared to non-perpetrators describing their worst date, perpetrators knew the woman longer, used more isolating and controlling behaviors, misperceived her sexual intentions for a longer period of time, and engaged in more consensual sexual activities with the woman. Perpetrators who used impairment tactics did not usually consume more alcohol than other participants; however, they consumed much more alcohol during the incident. Although verbal coercion and taking advantage of an impaired victim are sometimes viewed as less serious tactics than the use of force, these findings demonstrate that perpetrators who use these strategies have personality, attitude, and experience profiles that distinguish them from nonperpetrators.
HIV prevention efforts promote the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV and other STDs. Thus, a woman's agency to practice healthy sexual behaviors necessarily involves negotiation with another person. This poses unique challenges for women who have limited power in relationships. The current study explores how the experience of intimate partner violence (IPV) impacts a woman's confidence in her ability to negotiate condom use with a sexual partner (i.e., condom use self-efficacy), using data from incarcerated females in three states, who were interviewed just prior to release back into the community. Thedirect effectof experiencing IPV as an adult, controlling for other risk factors, on condom use self-efficacy has not previously been empirically tested. Results show that IPV experiences among women significantly decreases their confidence in negotiating condom use with a partner, putting them at a higher risk of HIV infection than women who do not report having recently experienced IPV.
The past two decades have seen an explosion in research in the fields of violence and trauma and behavior genetics. These two fields came into direct conflict when Lisabeth Fisher DiLalla and Irving I. Gottesman outlined a fundamental conceptual limitation of trauma and violence research: that rather than being causal, the well-documented relationship between exposure to trauma or violence and later negative outcomes could be explained by gene-environment correlation. In the past decade, researchers have addressed this limitation by studying the effects of trauma and violence using genetically informative designs. This report briefly discusses the gains made from this research approach and the promising future for genetically informative trauma and violence research.
This exploratory study examined the prevalence of intimate partner violence in a sample of gay men who are HIV positive. The concept of intergenerational transmission of violence, from family systems theory, provided the basis of this examination. It was hypothesized that men who had witnessed or experienced violence in their families of origin would be more likely to perpetrate or experience violence in their intimate relationships. Perpetration and receipt of abuse were assessed to provide a more comprehensive examination of these relationships. The results of this study indicated that psychological abuse was the most commonly reported form of violence in these relationships. The results also provided partial support for the hypothesized relationship between family-of-origin violence and subsequent violence in an intimate relationship. Implications for future research and intervention are discussed.