Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 117–131 | Cite as

Personality Profiles of Women in Multiple Abusive Relationships

  • Frederick L. Coolidge
  • Laura W. Anderson


Personality profiles of women with multiple abusive relationship histories (N = 42) were compared to either abused women with 1 abusive relationship (N = 33) or a control group (N = 52) on the Coolidge Axis II Inventory (Coolidge & Merwin, 1992, J. Pers. Assess. 59: 223–238), a self-report measure based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Women with multiple abusive relationships had higher rates and greater levels of dependent, paranoid, and self-defeating personality disorders than women in the other 2 groups. Women in multiple abusive relationships had significantly more depression, and women in this group with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) had significantly more personality disorders than women with single abusive relationships with PTSD. Women in single abusive relationships did not exhibit more psychopathology than women in the control group with matched marital status. Theoretical and methodological issues, and treatment recommendations are discussed.

battered women personality profiles multiple abusive relationships personality disorders posttraumatic stress disorder 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Colorado at Colorado Springs

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