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NCJ Number: 202642 Find in a Library
Title: Social Support as a Mediator of Revictimization of Low-Income African-American Women
Journal: Violence and Victims  Volume:18  Issue:4  Dated:August 2003  Pages:419-431
Author(s): Marnette Bender; Sarah Cook; Nadine Kaslow
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the mediating role of social support in the relation between childhood maltreatment and adult intimate partner violence (IPV).
Abstract: This study explored the role of social support in the link between childhood maltreatment and IPV in a sample of low-income African-American women. The hypothesis was that social support would partially mediates the relation between childhood maltreatment and adult victimization in African-American women. Severity of childhood maltreatment was expected to positively correlate with severity of adult IPV, which was expected to occur through lowered levels of perceived social support. The sample was drawn from a study of suicidal behavior and consisted of 362 African-American women that sought services at a large, urban, public hospital in Atlanta, GA. Instruments used in the study were the Index of Spouse Abuse, the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire Short Form, and the Perceived Social Support Scale. The study supported the clinical belief that childhood maltreatment was associated with adult IPV. The more severe a woman’s childhood maltreatment history, the more severe the IPV she may experience in her adult relationships. All individual forms of childhood maltreatment significantly predicted adult IPV. Childhood physical and sexual abuse best predicted adult physical IPV, (which included both physical and sexual acts). Childhood emotional abuse was the best predictor of adult nonphysical IPV. The type of maltreatment experienced in childhood may be related to the type of abuse experienced in adult relationships. There appears to be a link between childhood maltreatment and adult intimate partner victimization. While this link is small, it occurs through lowered levels of social support. The more severe a woman’s history of childhood maltreatment, the less likely she may be to perceive that she has social support. The less perceived social support a woman has, the more severe adult IPV she experiences. Lack of social support may lead a woman to believe that she has fewer options for other intimate relationships. These findings highlight the need for professionals that work with women to be aware of the types of childhood maltreatment and IPV that their clients have experienced. 3 tables, 34 references
Main Term(s): Abused women; Child abuse
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Family offenses; Female victims; Interpersonal relations; Long term health effects of child abuse; Psychological victimization effects
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