Cognitive therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder is in the early stages of development and study. This article will examine seven controlled studies that included at least a component of cognitive therapy. Two studies specifically focused on early intervention to treat PTSD and included both cognitive therapy and exposure therapy. Three studies examined cognitive processing therapy, which is predominantly cognitive therapy. Two other studies compared pure cognitive therapy with exposure therapy. Overall, cognitive therapy for PTSD appears to be highly effective compared to no-treatment, relaxation, or supportive counseling, and similar to exposure treatments. Treatment effects appear to continue through follow-up periods of up to one year. At this point, little is known about who benefits best with cognitive therapy or predictors of treatment outcome.
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- Go to article: Women’s Attributions of Responsibility for Date Rape: The Influence of Empathy and Sex-Role Stereotyping
Women’s Attributions of Responsibility for Date Rape: The Influence of Empathy and Sex-Role Stereotyping
The purpose of the study presented here was to investigate the relation-ship among sex-role stereotyping, empathy with the victim, and subsequent blaming of the victim in response to a date-rape scenario. It was hypothesized that sex-typed (traditional) females would be less likely to perceive forced sex on a date as rape and would attribute more responsibility to the victim than would more egalitarian (nontraditional) females. It was also predicted that the enhancement of victim empathy would result in less victim blame. The subjects were 76 female undergraduates who were chosen on the basis of their extreme scores on a sex-role stereotyping scale. Vignettes describing a date rape were used to manipulate victim empathy. Findings indicated that although attributions of responsibility were influenced by the subject’s sex-role stereotyping, the manipulation of empathy had no apparent influence on victim blame. Furthermore, the lack of correlation between the degree of victim empathy and the subject’s own history of victimization suggests that victim empathy is not a component in victim blame.
- Go to article: Help-Seeking Behavior in Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: Toward an Integrated Behavioral Model of Individual Factors
Help-Seeking Behavior in Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: Toward an Integrated Behavioral Model of Individual Factors
This study examined individual behavioral predictors of help-seeking using the frameworks of the Andersen model and the theory of planned behavior in a sample of help-seeking female survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). In-person interviews were conducted with 372 women (Mage = 34.41 years, 66% African American). Results indicated that variables suggested by the Andersen model, including age, depression, psychological aggression, and posttraumatic stress-related arousal symptoms, were significant predictors of help-seeking. Variables suggested by the theory of planned behavior, including perceived helpfulness of resource and perceived controllability of the violence, were also significantly related to help-seeking. However, a combined model including variables from both theoretical approaches accounted for the most variance in help-seeking behavior. Overall, results suggest that these models are useful conceptualizations of help-seeking in an IPV population and that it is important to consider personal characteristics, need-based variables, and cognitive factors in outreach efforts.
- Go to article: The Relative Effects of Intimate Partner Physical and Sexual Violence on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptomatology
The Relative Effects of Intimate Partner Physical and Sexual Violence on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptomatology
This study examined the relative effects of intimate partner physical and sexual violence on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptomatology. Severity of physical and sexual violence as well as PTSD severity were assessed in a sample of 62 help-seeking battered women. The results of this study were consistent with prior research, finding significant and positive relationships between physical and sexual violence as well as sexual violence and PTSD symptoms. In order to further clarify these relationships, the unique effects of sexual violence on PTSD were examined after controlling for physical violence severity. Results indicated that sexual violence severity explained a significant proportion of the variance in PTSD severity beyond that which was already accounted for by physical violence severity. These findings have important implications for mental health and social service professionals who work with battered women.
- Go to article: The Impact of Severe Stalking Experienced by Acutely Battered Women: An Examination of Violence, Psychological Symptoms and Strategic Responding
The Impact of Severe Stalking Experienced by Acutely Battered Women: An Examination of Violence, Psychological Symptoms and Strategic Responding
Stalking has been relatively understudied compared to other dimensions of intimate partner violence. The purpose of this article was to examine concurrent and subsequent intimate partner abuse, strategic responses and symptomatic consequences of severe stalking experienced by battered women. Thirty-five battered women classified as “relentlessly stalked” and 31 infrequently stalked battered women were compared. Compared to infrequently stalked battered women, relentlessly stalked battered women reported: (a) more severe concurrent physical violence, sexual assault and emotional abuse: (b) increased post-separation assault and stalking; (c) increased rates of depression and PTSD; and (d) more extensive use of strategic responses to abuse. Results underscore the scope and magnitude of stalking faced by battered women and have implications for assessment and intervention strategies.
- Go to article: Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking Behavior: Exploration of Patterns and Correlates in a Sample of Acutely Battered Women
Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking Behavior: Exploration of Patterns and Correlates in a Sample of Acutely Battered Women
The aims of this study were to provide descriptive data on stalking in a sample of acutely battered women and to assess the interrelationship between constructs of emotional abuse, physical violence, and stalking in battered women. We recruited a sample of 114 battered women from shelters, agencies, and from the community at large. Results support the growing consensus that violent and harassing stalking behaviors occur with alarming frequency among physically battered women, both while they are in the relationship and after they leave their abusive partners. Emotional and psychological abuse emerged as strong predictors of within- and postrelationship stalking, and contributed a unique variance to women’s fears of future serious harm or death, even after the effects of physical violence were controlled. The length of time a woman was out of the violent relationship was the strongest predictor of postseparation stalking, with increased stalking found with greater time out of the relationship. Results suggest the need to further study the heterogeneity of stalking and to clarify its relationship to constructs of emotional and physical abuse in diverse samples that include stalked but nonbattered women, as women exposed to emotional abuse, and dating violence.
- Go to article: Examining the Correlates of Engagement and Disengagement Coping Among Help-Seeking Battered Women
This study examined several potential correlates of engagement and disengagement coping, including abuse-related factors, socioeconomic and social coping resources, and childhood trauma variables among a sample of battered women (N = 388). Relationship abuse frequency, particularly psychological aggression, and peritraumatic dissociation were the strongest positive predictors of the use of disengagement coping. Social coping resources, including tangible support and appraisals of social support and belonging, were associated with higher engagement coping and lower disengagement coping. A positive association was also found between interparental domestic violence and disengagement coping, and negative associations were found between both childhood physical and sexual abuse and engagement coping. Results suggest that coping strategies used by battered women are multidetermined and deserve further exploration.
This longitudinal study examined the associations between relationship abuse, coping variables, and mental health outcomes among a sample of battered women obtained from shelter and nonresidential community agencies (N = 61). Sexual aggression was a stronger predictor of poorer mental health than was physical assault. Engagement coping strategies were generally predictive of positive mental health, and disengagement coping strategies were generally predictive of poorer mental health. Results highlight the complexity of the associations between different forms of relationship abuse, coping strategies, and mental health among this population.
- Go to article: The Impact of Childhood Maltreatment on PTSD Symptoms Among Female Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence
The Impact of Childhood Maltreatment on PTSD Symptoms Among Female Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence
Objective: Intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors often report histories of childhood maltreatment, yet the unique contributions of childhood maltreatment on IPV survivors’ distinct posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms remain inadequately understood. Method: Using interview and self-report measures, we examined IPV as a potential mediator of the association between childhood maltreatment and severity of PTSD symptom clusters (reexperiencing, avoidance, numbing, and hyperarousal) among a sample of 425 women seeking help for recent IPV. Results: Structural equation modeling demonstrated that while both childhood maltreatment and IPV were both positively associated with PTSD symptom clusters, IPV did not mediate the association between childhood maltreatment and severity of PTSD symptom clusters among acute IPV survivors. Conclusions: Childhood maltreatment has persistent effects on the PTSD symptoms of IPV survivors, suggesting that child maltreatment may need to be addressed in addition to IPV during PTSD treatment.
- Go to article: The Contribution of Childhood Family Violence on Later Intimate Partner Violence Among Robbery Victims
The Contribution of Childhood Family Violence on Later Intimate Partner Violence Among Robbery Victims
This study examined the relative contributions of the three forms of childhood family violence exposure on physical intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization among recent robbery victims and tested a gender-matching modeling prediction for IPV risk. Data from a sample of 103 male and 93 female victims of a robbery were analyzed to investigate the effects of exposure to childhood physical abuse (CPA), childhood sexual abuse (CSA), and witnessing parental violence on the likelihood of IPV in adulthood. As expected, witnessing parental violence was associated with a 2.4-fold increase in IPV for both men and women. Neither CPA nor CSA was significantly associated with IPV after accounting for the effect of witnessing parental violence. There was support for the gender-matching hypothesis with men more likely to report IPV if they had witnessed mother-to-father violence and women more likely to report IPV if they had witnessed father-to-mother violence. Witnessing parental violence is strongly associated with risk for IPV victimization, particularly when the victim is the same-gender parent. Future directions and clinical implications are discussed.