Social Support as a Mediator of Revictimization of Low-Income African American Women


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Abstract

Mediating effects of social support on the link between childhood maltreatment and adult intimate partner violence (IPV) were explored in a sample of 362 low-income, African American women. We examined relations between childhood maltreatment experiences (total maltreatment, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, and physical neglect) and adult maltreatment (physical IPV and nonphysical IPV). Results of hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed small, but significant, effects. Further, social support mediated revictimization. Social support fully mediated relations in which the form of childhood maltreatment was different than the form of adult IPV (e.g., the relation between childhood sexual abuse and adult nonphysical IPV), but only partially mediated the relations in which the form of childhood maltreatment was similar to adult IPV (e.g., the relation between childhood emotional abuse and adult nonphysical IPV). Implications for clinical interventions for women with intimate partner violence experiences are discussed.

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