Predictors of intimate partner violence revictimization: the relative impact of distinct PTSD symptoms, dissociation, and coping strategies.J Trauma Stress. 2013 Feb; 26(1):102-10.JT
Psychological distress and coping strategies following intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization may impact survivors' risk for future IPV. The current study prospectively examined the impact of distinct posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom clusters (reexperiencing, avoidance, numbing, and hyperarousal), dissociation, and coping strategies (engagement and disengagement coping) on IPV revictimization among recently abused women. Women (N = 69) who were seeking services for IPV and experienced their most recent episode of physical IPV between 2 weeks and 6 months prior to study enrollment completed measures of physical IPV, psychological distress, and coping strategies at baseline and at 6-month follow-up. The women averaged 36 years of age and 67% of the sample was African American. Separate Poisson regression analyses revealed that PTSD hyperarousal symptoms, dissociation, engagement coping, and disengagement coping each significantly predicted physical IPV revictimization at the 6-month follow-up (with effect sizes ranging from a 1.20-1.34 increase in the likelihood of Time 2 physical IPV with a 1 SD increase in the predictor). When these significant predictors were examined together in a single Poisson regression model, only engagement and disengagement coping were found to predict physical IPV revictimization such that disengagement coping was associated with higher revictimization risk (1.29 increase in the likelihood of Time 2 physical IPV with one SD increase in disengagement coping) and engagement coping was associated with lower revictimization risk (1.30 decrease in the likelihood of Time 2 physical IPV with one SD increase in engagement coping). The current findings suggest that coping strategies are important and potentially malleable predictors of physical IPV revictimization.