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Stress posttraumatique, conduites d'addiction et recours à la violence associés aux expériences de victimisation des femmes

English title Posttraumatic stress, substance use, and use of aggression associated to women’s victimization experiences
Applicant Jaquier Erard Véronique
Number 140055
Funding scheme Fellowships for prospective researchers
Research institution Department of Psychiatry Yale University
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Legal sciences
Start/End 01.01.2012 - 31.12.2012
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Legal sciences
Psychology

Keywords (8)

victimization; women's use of aggression; posttraumatic stress; coping; use of aggression; substance use; sexual violence; social support

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

Research in past decades has provided growing awareness of the pervasive impact of victimization on women's mental health. Victimization and posttraumatic stress are associated with various risk behaviors including self-harm, substance use, and use of aggression. Self-harm has been associated with histories of sexual abuse in both childhood and adulthood. Self-medication and tension reduction models have been proposed as possible explanations for the high rates of substance use among victims, suggesting that women use substance to decrease anxiety, stress, and other tensions associated with experiencing victimization. Further, recent studies suggest that while some abused women express their distress outwardly – presenting elevated levels of anger and aggression – others direct their distress inwardly by using substance or displaying self-harm behaviors.

While victimization is associated with mental health problems and risk behaviors, women have different experiences of victimization and react in various ways. Differences in the subjective emotional experience of violence are expected to be associated with different mental health problems and risk behaviors. In particular, the impact of the victim-perpetrator relationship on mental health problems and risk behaviors is understudied. As of yet, limited studies have directly examined how the victim-perpetrator relationship in victimization might impact mental health problems and risk behaviors. Trauma research has shown that different types of trauma differently impact women’s mental health, yet little is known about how differing are intimate and nonintimate violence experiences.

To better understand posttraumatic stress, substance use, and use of aggression associated to women’s victimization experiences, this postdoctoral project comprises 2 research components: (1) a set of secondary data analyses focusing on women’s use of aggression among community women exposed to intimate violence using structural equation modeling; and (2) an exploratory community study to examine mental health problems and risk behaviors among 30 women victims of intimate and nonintimate violence using a mixed methods approach. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods allows for a deeper understanding of women’s experiences of intimate and nonintimate violence. Given the complex and highly personal nature of victimization, its multiple dimensions are not all accessible to quantitative measures. Quantitative and qualitative findings will highlight commonalities and differences among experiences and provide key elements to inform both clinical practice and intervention development.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Examining the prevalence, bidirectionality and co-occurrence of sexual intimate partner violence among women during pregnancy and postpartum
Hellmuth J. C., Jaquier V., Gordon K. C., Moore T. M., Stuart G. L. (2014), Examining the prevalence, bidirectionality and co-occurrence of sexual intimate partner violence among women during pregnancy and postpartum, in Partner Abuse, 5(4), 407-419.
Patterns of Resource Utilization and Mental Health Symptoms Among Women Exposed to Multiple Types of Victimization: A Latent Class Analysis
Young-Wolff K., Hellmuth J. C., Jaquier V., Connell C., Swan S., Sullivan T. P. (2013), Patterns of Resource Utilization and Mental Health Symptoms Among Women Exposed to Multiple Types of Victimization: A Latent Class Analysis, in Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 28(15), 3059-3083.
Posttraumatic stress and depression symptoms as correlates of deliberate self-harm among community women exposed to intimate partner violence
Jaquier V., Hellmuth J. C., Sullivan T. P. (2013), Posttraumatic stress and depression symptoms as correlates of deliberate self-harm among community women exposed to intimate partner violence, in Psychiatry Research, 206, 37-42.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Yale University School of Medicine United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference Talk given at a conference Determinants of posttraumatic stress disorder among women currently experiencing intimate partner violence 08.07.2012 Portsmouth, NH, United States of America Jaquier Erard Véronique;
International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference Talk given at a conference Pathways of posttraumatic stress and anxiety symptoms to substance use among IPV-exposed women 08.07.2012 Portsmouth, NH, United States of America Jaquier Erard Véronique;
Association international des criminologues de langue française Talk given at a conference Conduites auto-agressives et configuration symptomatique du stress post-traumatique chez les femmes victimes de violence de la part d’un partenaire 12.05.2012 Montréal, Canada Jaquier Erard Véronique;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
145873 Stress posttraumatique, conduites d'addiction et recours à la violence associés aux expériences de victimisation des femmes 01.01.2013 Fellowships for prospective researchers
131842 L'influence de la multivictimisation et des traumatismes récurrents sur la santé mentale des femmes, leur consommation de substance et leur recours à l'agression 01.01.2011 Fellowships for prospective researchers

Abstract

Research in past decades has provided growing awareness of the pervasive impact of victimization on women's mental health. Past studies have identified numerous short and long-term mental health problems associated with victimization, including posttraumatic stress, depression, and suicidal behavior. In particular, posttraumatic stress has been shown to frequently occur in women victims of violence. Rates vary according to assessment methods and timing, yet posttraumatic stress has been shown to affect up to 46% of rape victims and meta-analysis findings indicated that 31 to 84% of women exposed to intimate partner violence met criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder.Victimization and posttraumatic stress are associated with various risk behaviors including self-harm, substance use, and use of aggression. Self-harm has been associated with histories of sexual abuse in both childhood and adulthood. Women victims of violence are disproportionately affected by substance use problems, particularly in the context of intimate violence. Self-medication and tension reduction models have been proposed as possible explanations for the high rates of substance use among victims, suggesting that women use alcohol or drug to decrease anxiety, stress, fear, and other tensions associated with experiencing victimization. Further, recent studies suggest that while some abused women express their distress outwardly - presenting elevated levels of anger and aggression - others direct their distress inwardly by using substance or displaying self-harm behaviors. While victimization is associated with mental health problems and risk behaviors, women have different experiences of sexual violence and react in various ways. Differences in the subjective emotional experience of sexual violence are expected to be associated with different mental health problems and risk behaviors. Yet the different trajectories of women victims are not fully understood. In particular, mental health problems and risk behaviors associated with victimization have been shown to be impacted by women’s personal and social resources, such as the way they cope or the social support they utilize. The impact of the victim-perpetrator relationship on mental health problems and risk behaviors is understudied. As of yet, limited studies have directly examined how the victim-perpetrator relationship in victimization might impact mental health problems and risk behaviors. Trauma research has shown that different types of trauma differently impact women’s mental health, yet little is known about how differing are intimate and nonintimate sexual violence experiences. Research suggests that women may cope differently according to their relationship to the perpetrator, yet the types of relationships have often been poorly defined in past studies and differences across theses types have not been extensively researched. To better understand posttraumatic stress, substance use, and use of aggression associated to women’s victimization experiences, this postdoctoral project comprises 2 research components: (1) a set of secondary data analyses focusing on women’s use of aggression among community women exposed to intimate violence using structural equation modeling; and (2) an exploratory community study to examine mental health problems and risk behaviors among 30 women victims of intimate and nonintimate sexual violence using a mixed methods approach. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods allows for a deeper understanding of women’s experiences of intimate and nonintimate sexual violence. Given the complex and highly personal nature of sexual victimization, its multiple dimensions are not all accessible to quantitative measures. Quantitative and qualitative findings will highlight commonalities and differences among experiences and provide key elements to inform both clinical practice and intervention development.
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