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Cross-Cultural Assessment of Posttrauma Reactions Among Malaysian and U.S. Women Reporting Partner Abuse

NCJ Number
Journal of Family Violence Volume: 21 Issue: 4 Dated: May 2006 Pages: 263-270
Kathryn E. Phillips; Gerald M. Rosen; Lori A. Zoellner; Norah C. Feeny
Date Published
May 2006
8 pages
This study assessed the psychological conditions of women who sought refuge in a domestic violence shelter in Malaysia and compared them to a sample of women in the United States who also reported being victims of partner violence.
The majority of women in both samples reported severe levels of distress and met criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the Malaysian sample, the PTSD Symptom Scale Self-Report showed that 82.4 percent of the women had PTSD symptoms. The Revised Impact of Events Scale indicated that 76.5 percent of the women were experiencing PTSD. This was consistent with rates found in the American sample. Despite some cross-cultural limitations in study methodology, the findings suggest that women who have been victims of partner violence have similar psychological reactions across cultures. The Malaysian sample consisted of 17 women at a shelter in a suburb of Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur. They reported being abused by their husbands over a period of 6 months to 37 years. The comparison group of 17 women in the United States who had experienced partner abuse were randomly selected from a larger pool of 52 women seeking emergency restraining orders from the Philadelphia Family Court Domestic Violence Unit. All women were administered a sociodemographic survey, the Severity of Violence Against Women Scales, the PTSD Symptom Scale Self-Report, and the Revised Impact of Events Scale. 27 references