The Association of Domestic Violence and Social Resources With Functioning in an Adult Trauma-Affected Sample Living in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq

J Interpers Violence. 2018 Dec;33(24):3772-3791. doi: 10.1177/0886260516639582. Epub 2016 Mar 27.


Domestic violence (DV) and other experienced trauma types increase the risk for impaired functioning. Access to social resources may provide a buffer to existing risks and allow individuals to continue and build functioning. This cross-sectional study investigated the direct effects of DV and access to social resources (perceived social support, social integration, and frequency of social contact), as well as their potential interactive effects, on daily functioning among 894 male and female trauma survivors who attended primary care clinics in Kurdistan, Iraq in 2009 and 2010. Experiencing DV was not associated with functioning for males ( p=.15) or females ( p=.60), suggesting that in the context of a trauma-affected sample, the experience of DV may not significantly increase the risk for functional impairment. Greater amounts of social integration were associated with less functional impairment among males ( p<.01) and females ( p<.05); social integration was associated with less functional impairment among males only ( p<.01); and frequency of social contact was associated with less functional impairment among females only ( p<.05), indicating that the association between social resource type and functioning differed by gender. Social resources had a stronger effect on functioning among men compared to women. Among males who experienced DV, social integration was the only social resource associated with less functional impairment ( p<.01); among male trauma survivors who did not experience DV, social support was the only resource associated with less functional impairment ( p<.01). Further investigation into these associations is warranted to inform intervention strategies for survivors of DV and other traumas in post-conflict settings.

Keywords: Iraq; conflict; domestic violence; functioning; social resources; trauma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Domestic Violence / psychology*
  • Exposure to Violence / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Resources*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Iraq
  • Male
  • Primary Health Care
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Support*
  • Survivors / psychology*