Correlates of Lifetime Trauma Exposure Among Pregnant Women from Cape Town, South Africa
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- Myers, B., Jones, H.E., Doherty, I.A. et al. Int J Ment Health Addiction (2015) 13: 307. doi:10.1007/s11469-015-9544-3
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A cross-sectional survey of 298 pregnant women from Cape Town, South Africa was conducted to examine socio-demographic, reproductive health, mental health, and relationship correlates of lifetime trauma exposure and whether these correlates vary as a function of age. Overall, 19.8 % of participants reported trauma exposure. We found similarities and differences in correlates of trauma exposure among women in emerging adulthood and older women. Prior termination of pregnancy was associated with trauma exposure in both age groups. Difficulties in resolving arguments, lifetime substance use, and a prior sexually transmitted infection were associated with trauma exposure among women in emerging adulthood. In contrast, depression and awareness of substance abuse treatment programmes were associated with trauma exposure among older women. These findings highlight the need for interventions that prevent and treat trauma exposure among vulnerable women. Such interventions should be tailored to address the correlates of trauma exposure in each age group.