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Intimate Partner Violence as a Risk Factor for Mental Disorders: A Meta-Analysis

NCJ Number
Journal of Family Violence Volume: 14 Issue: 2 Dated: June 1999 Pages: 99-132
Jacqueline M. Golding
Date Published
34 pages
This article reviews literature on the prevalence of mental health problems among women with a history of intimate partner violence.
The weighted mean prevalence of mental health problems among battered women was 47.6 percent in 18 studies of depression, 17.9 percent in 13 studies of suicidality, 63.8 percent in 11 studies of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 18.5 percent in 10 studies of alcohol abuse, and 8.9 percent in four studies of drug abuse. These were typically inconsistent across studies. Weighted mean odds ratios that represented associations of these problems with violence ranged from 3.55 to 5.62, and were typically consistent across studies. Variability was accounted for by differences in sampling frames. Dose-response relationships of violence to depression and PTSD were observed. Although research has not addressed many criteria for causal inferences, the existing research is consistent with the hypothesis that intimate partner violence increases risk for mental health problems. The appropriate way to conceptualize these problems deserves careful attention. 5 tables and 86 references