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Violence and Trauma: Predicting the Impact on the Well-Being of African American Women With Severe Mental Illness

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Exposure to violence and trauma has become a major mental health and public health problem in the United States. This study assesses the rates of exposure to traumatic events of 55 adult African American women receiving treatment in an urban community mental health clinic. The study examined three research questions. First, what is the rate of exposure to violence and trauma among African American women in an urban community mental health clinic? Second, what effect does violence and trauma exposure have on mental health? Finally, does exposure to violence and trauma have an effect on well-being as measured with the Medical Outcomes Survey (MOS/SF-36)? A significant negative relationship between diagnostic burden and well-being was found. A negative non-significant relationship was found between Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS) and well-being. Study findings suggest that use of a screening and assessment tool for violence and trauma exposure may have important clinical implications in providing appropriate mental health services to African American women.
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Keywords: AFRICAN AMERICAN; POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER; PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS; TRAUMA; VIOLENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2002

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