Injury and Psychiatric Disorder in Low-Income Women Experiencing Bidirectional Intimate Partner Violence

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Abstract

This study compared severity of physical violence, intimate partner violence (IPV)-related injury, and lifetime diagnoses of psychiatric disorders among women in relationships with bidirectional, unidirectional, or no IPV. The sample includes 763 low-income women from community-based family planning clinics. Results showed that women in relationships with bidirectional IPV were more likely to experience severe physical violence and severe IPV-related injury compared to women in the unidirectional IPV category. These women were also more likely to be diagnosed with drug abuse and depression than women in relationships without IPV. Similarly, women in the bidirectional IPV category were more likely to be diagnosed with drug abuse when compared to women in the victim-only unidirectional IPV category. Recommendations for health-care providers are discussed.

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