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Adult Health and Relationship Outcomes Among Women With Abuse Experiences During Childhood

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Abstract:

Associations between child abuse and/or witnessing intimate partner violence (IPV) during childhood and women's health, adult IPV exposure, and health care use were examined. Randomly sampled insured women ages 18–64 (N = 3,568) completed a phone interview assessing childhood exposure to abuse and witnessing IPV, current health, and adult IPV exposure. Women's health care use was collected from automated health plan databases. Poor health status, higher prevalence of depression and IPV, and greater use of health care and mental health services were observed in women who had exposure to child abuse and witnessing IPV during childhood or child abuse alone, compared with women with no exposures. Women who had witnessed IPV without child abuse also had worse health and greater use of health services. Findings reveal adverse long-term and incremental effects of differing child abuse experiences on women's health and relationships.

Keywords: ADULT HEALTH; CHILD ABUSE; HEALTH CARE UTILIZATION; INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE; WITNESSING INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1891/0886-6708.25.3.291

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2014 Impact Factor is 0.858.
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