Partner abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder as risk factors for suicide attempts in a sample of low-income, inner-city women

J Trauma Stress. 1999 Jan;12(1):59-72. doi: 10.1023/A:1024742215337.


This study examined partner abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as risk factors for suicidal behavior among women, and whether or not PTSD mediated the partner abuse-suicidal behavior association. Attempters (n = 119) were approximately three times more likely to be above clinical cut-points for physical partner abuse, nonphysical abuse, and PTSD than nonattempters (n = 85). Physical partner abuse, but not nonphysical partner abuse, was associated with an increased risk for PTSD. Further, PTSD mediated the link between physical partner abuse and suicidality, such that when PTSD was statistically controlled, the association between physical partner abuse and suicide attempt status was reduced to nonsignificance. Implications of findings for interventions for female victims of partner abuse, and women who make nonfatal suicide attempts are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Georgia
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Poverty
  • Risk Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Urban Population