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Violence, Battering, and Psychological Distress Among Women

NCJ Number
Journal of Interpersonal Violence Volume: 4 Issue: 4 Dated: (December 1989) Pages: 400-420
R J Gelles; J W Harrop
Date Published
21 pages
Descriptive and clinical accounts of wife abuse consistently report a high incidence of depression and anxiety among samples of battered women.
However, these studies all suffer from methodological shortcomings such as nonrepresentative samples, small sample size, and lack of comparison groups. This study corrects many of the methodological shortcomings of previous studies and analyzes reports of psychological distress among victims of violence and abuse by examining data from the Second National Family Violence Survey. A national probability sample of 6,002 households comprised this survey. The examination of the effects of violence is based on an analysis of the information provided by 3,002 female respondents who lived with their husband or male partner, or who had been separated from their husband or male partner less than 12 months at the time of the interview. Women who reported experiencing violence and abuse also reported higher levels of moderate and severe psychological distress. Multivariate analysis indicated that violence made an independent and nonspurious contribution to the psychological distress experienced by women. (Author abstract)


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