Impact of physical abuse on adulthood depressive symptoms among women

Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2008 Mar;29(3):299-314. doi: 10.1080/01612840701869791.


This manuscript provides a systematic review of the literature to examine the relationship between childhood physical abuse and intimate partner physical abuse with adulthood depressive symptoms among women. Thirty-five studies that targeted women, measured depressive symptoms, childhood physical abuse, and intimate partner physical abuse were reviewed. Findings indicated an association between physical abuse experiences and depressive symptoms. However, the association of other risk factors, including other types of abuse, with depressive symptoms confounded this relationship. Recommendations, including control for other types of abuse, use of valid and reliable measures, and provision of a clear definition of physical abuse, are provided.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / psychology*
  • Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Prevalence
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires