, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 401-419

Women with Schizophrenia and Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders: An Increased Risk for Violent Victimization and HIV

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Abstract

Women with serious mental illnesses are at riskfor victimization and HIV. Schizophrenia relatedneurocognitive and social competency deficitsexacerbated by the effects of substance abuse may make women with schizophrenia particularlyvulnerable. Information processing deficits may impairthe ability to identify situations or interpersonal cuessignaling danger, and make it difficult to remember and hence avoid, situations, people, or placespreviously proven dangerous. Social competency deficitsinterfere with the ability to form lastingrelationships, negotiate out of dangerous situations,refuse unreasonable requests, and effectively problemsolve. Given the potential increased vulnerability ofthis population to these negative outcomes, empiricallybased manualized preventive interventions are greatly needed.