Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 227–242

Exposure to Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Symptomatology Among Abortion Clinic Workers

  • Kevin M. Fitzpatrick
  • Michele Wilson

DOI: 10.1023/A:1024768207850

Cite this article as:
Fitzpatrick, K.M. & Wilson, M. J Trauma Stress (1999) 12: 227. doi:10.1023/A:1024768207850


The intent of this study was to examine the relationship between exposure to abortion clinic violence, either as a victim or witness, and the reporting of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among clinic employees. Semi-structured interviews with 71 clinic workers from eight abortion clinics in a Southeastern state were used for analyses. Findings showed that as victims, clinic workers experienced moderate forms of violence and witnessed greater variety and numbers of violent acts. Twenty-one percent of the sampled workers reported symptoms similar to the syndrome described in the DSM-IIIR/DSM-IV classification for PTSD. A multivariate analysis showed that even when controlling for significant life circumstances and stressors outside the clinic setting, witnessing violence was a significant predictor of PTSD symptomatology.

PTSD violence exposure stress workplace violence 

Copyright information

© International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin M. Fitzpatrick
    • 1
  • Michele Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirmingham

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