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Forced Sex: A Critical Factor in the Sleep Difficulties of Young Australian Women

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Abstract:

The prevalence of forced sex and its contribution to sleep difficulties among young Australian women aged 24–30 years (n = 9,061) was examined using data from the 2003 Australian Longitudinal Study of Women's Health. The lifetime prevalence of reported forced sex was 8.7%. Significantly higher levels of recurrent sleep difficulties, prescription sleep medication, clinical depression, anxiety disorder, self-harm, and substance use, as well as lower socioeconomic status (SES) indicators, were reported by the forced sex group compared to the no forced sex group. Hierarchical logistic regression revealed the high odds (OR = 1.95, CI = 1.66–2.26) of recurrent sleep difficulty in such women becomes partially attenuated, but remains statistically significant, after adjusting for key psychological, SES, and behavioral variables. Clinical implications for primary care providers and sleep specialists are discussed. Sleep difficulties are highly prevalent and affect more than 30% of those seeking primary health care (Kushida et al., 2005). They negatively impact on the way a person feels and functions (Dinges et al., 1997) and make a significant contribution to accidents, health care costs, and problems at work (Roth, 2005).

Keywords: ANXIETY; DELIBERATE SELF HARM; FORCED SEX; SES; SLEEP DISORDERS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/0886-6708.26.1.53

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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