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NCJ Number: 200059 Find in a Library
Title: Roles of Coping and Social Support in Battered Women's Mental Health
Journal: Violence Against Women  Volume:9  Issue:3  Dated:March 2003  Pages:323-346
Author(s): Thomas Kocot; Lisa Goodman
Date Published: March 2003
Page Count: 24
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the influence of social support for battered women as a moderator of the relationship between problem-focused coping with abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder and depression among low-income African-American battered women.
Abstract: The study sample was composed of 169 women over 18 years old who presented at the U.S. Attorney's Office's Domestic Violence Intake Center at the District of Columbia Superior Court. All participants had been recently assaulted and were pursuing legal assistance, counsel, and/or action. The sample was largely African-American, but participants were recruited without regard to race. The questionnaire packet used included questions on demographics, the severity and frequency of physical and psychological abuse during the past year, aspects of current social support, and types of current coping activities. The Interpersonal Support Evaluation List measured the perceived availability of four social support resources: tangible support (perceived availability of instrumental assistance); self-esteem support; belonging support (perceived availability of companionship); and appraisal support (perceived availability of others with whom one can discuss problems). The Problem-Focused Coping Scale was used to measure different ways the women responded to stress. The problem-focused subscales used in this study were active coping, planning, and seeking of instrumental support. These subscales best represent efforts to deal directly with the problem of battering. Instruments were also used to measure symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and depression. Problem-focused coping was found to be associated with mental health symptoms only in women with lower levels of overall social support, as well as in women whose closest supporters gave mixed advice or advice to stay with their partners. This suggests that professionals who counsel and advocate for battered women must attend to the victim's indigenous support network and the kind of advice they are giving her. 7 tables and 37 references
Main Term(s): Female victims
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Domestic assault prevention; Mental health; Psychological victimization effects; Social conditions; Social organization; Stress management
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