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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 152493 Find in a Library
Title: Psychological Adjustment of Recent Crime Victims in the Criminal Justice System
Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence  Volume:9  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1994)  Pages:450-468
Author(s): J R Freedy; H S Resnick; D G Kilpatrick; B S Dansky; R P Tidwell
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: South Carolina Office of the Governor
Columbia, SC 29211
Grant Number: 86-024
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study focused on mental health status and service utilization among recent crime victims in South Carolina and their families; the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the relationship between PTSD, demographic characteristics, crime type, and crime characteristics were explored.
Abstract: A pool of 591 potential study participants was identified, and 309 eligible participants were located. Of the 309 individuals, 251 (81.2 percent) completed a structured telephone interview that averaged 34 minutes in length. Of the 251 participants, 51 percent had been direct crime victims: 37.5 percent, physical assault; 12.5 percent, criminal sexual conduct; 17.2 percent, robbery; and 32.8 percent, burglary. The remaining 49 percent included family members who were indirect crime victims. About half the participants met PTSD diagnostic criteria during their lifetime. Females were overrepresented in more violent crimes, such as homicide and sexual assault. Victims of violent crimes, who sustained physical injuries, who perceived they would be seriously injured, and who perceived their lives were threatened, were more likely to suffer from PTSD than victims who did not have these characteristics. Most participants believed the criminal justice system should provide a range of victim services, although most reported inadequate access to services. The receipt of psychological counseling and diagnostic status were significantly associated with crime type. Results imply that victims involved in the criminal justice system are at risk of developing PTSD and that PTSD is often never addressed by mental health professionals due to inadequate access to health care services. 19 references and 6 tables
Main Term(s): Victims of Crime
Index Term(s): Crime Statistics; Female victims; Mental health services; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD); Psychological victimization effects; South Carolina; Victim medical assistance; Victims of violent crime
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