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Women’s Exposure to Psychological Abuse: Does That Experience Predict Mental Health Outcomes?

Abstract

Women’s experience with psychological abuse was examined as a predictor of symptoms and clinical levels of depression, anxiety, and somatization, as well as suicidal ideation and life functioning. A national sample of 361 women reporting themselves to be in a problematic or conflictual relationship completed an online survey assessing psychological abuse, pre-existing risk factors, risk factors related to exposure of psychological abuse and mental health indicators. The results indicated that while psychological abuse does predict mental health outcomes, perceived negative changes in one’s traits, problematic relationship schemas, and response styles more strongly predict mental health outcomes than the reported abuse. Implications discussed include the importance of identifying women in psychologically abusive relationships who are at risk for mental health problems, prevention of development of mental health problems, and the need for mediation path analysis of the factors explored in this study.

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Correspondence to Diane R. Follingstad.

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Rogers, M.J., Follingstad, D.R. Women’s Exposure to Psychological Abuse: Does That Experience Predict Mental Health Outcomes?. J Fam Viol 29, 595–611 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-014-9621-6

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Keywords

  • Psychological abuse
  • Women
  • Mental health
  • Predictors
  • Intimate partner violence