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. 2012 Jun;9(2):107-14.

Longitudinal Association of Intimate Partner Violence and Depressive Symptoms

Free PMC article

Longitudinal Association of Intimate Partner Violence and Depressive Symptoms

Cynthia H Chuang et al. Ment Health Fam Med. .
Free PMC article


Purpose The association between intimate partner violence (IPV) and depression has been well established in cross-sectional research, but how IPV is associated with depressive symptoms over time has not been well studied. Methods Using the Central Pennsylvania Women's Health Study, a population-based longitudinal survey of women aged 18-45 (N = 1,420), we performed a two-step logistic regression analysis. In step 1, the association of recent IPV exposure at baseline with depressive symptoms 2 years later was analysed adjusting for relevant covariates; in step 2, we additionally included positive coping strategies (social support, physical activity) and negative coping strategies (binge drinking/drug use, smoking) in the model. Results Baseline IPV was reported by 4.6 percent of the sample and was independently associated with depressive symptoms 2 years later (adjusted or 1.88, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-3.45). The strongest predictor was depressive symptoms at baseline, which was associated with a fivefold increase in the likelihood of depressive symptoms at 2-year follow-up. Other predictors of future depressive symptoms were IPV at follow-up, older age, lower educational attainment, and lower household income. When we controlled for potential coping strategies in the model (step 2), the relationship between recent IPV and follow-up depressive symptoms was attenuated (adjusted OR 1.50, 95% CI 0.80-2.80). Conclusions Exposure to IPV increases the likelihood of depressive symptoms occurring two years later. Greater social support and binge drinking/drug use attenuates this association, suggesting that interventions focusing on coping mechanisms may serve to reduce the impact of IPV on future depression.

Keywords: depression; depressive symptoms; domestic violence; intimate partner violence.

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