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Intimate partner violence is associated with increased maternal hair cortisol in mother-child dyads.
Compr Psychiatry. 2017 01; 72:18-24.CP

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The chronic consequences of intimate partner violence (IPV) on HPA activation are a topic of debate. The current study investigated hair cortisol concentrations in female victims of IPV and their children.

METHODS

A total of 52 mother-child dyads were divided into two groups depending on exposure to IPV: IPV group (n=27 dyads) and control group (n=25 dyads). Hair cortisol concentration was measured in 1-cm-long hair strands, representing 30days of exposure before assessment. PTSD and depression symptoms were assessed in the mother and child.

RESULTS

Women reporting IPV presented with higher hair cortisol levels, depression and PTSD symptoms severity in comparison to control women. Children who witnessed IPV reported more severe PTSD symptoms, but depressive symptoms and hair cortisol were not statistically different than those in control children. Correlation analyses revealed a positive association between the number of injury events and the level of hair cortisol in children. No associations between the hair cortisol levels in mothers and those in their children were found.

CONCLUSION

Higher hair cortisol levels detected in women exposed to IPV reflected long-lasting changes in HPA axis functioning associated with chronic stress exposure. Children whose parents recurrently engage in violent conflicts with intimate partners may often feel threatened and consequently reporting more PTSD-related symptoms. Given that experiencing and witnessing violence during childhood and adolescence are predictive of intimate partner violence in adulthood, the need of early interventions is crucial.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab (DCNL), Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Ipiranga, 6681 Prédio 11 Sala 936, Porto Alegre, RS 90619-900, Brazil.Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab (DCNL), Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Ipiranga, 6681 Prédio 11 Sala 936, Porto Alegre, RS 90619-900, Brazil.Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab (DCNL), Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Ipiranga, 6681 Prédio 11 Sala 936, Porto Alegre, RS 90619-900, Brazil.Department of Psychobiology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Valencia, Avda Blasco Ibañez, Valencia 2146010, Spain.Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab (DCNL), Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Ipiranga, 6681 Prédio 11 Sala 936, Porto Alegre, RS 90619-900, Brazil. Electronic address: rodrigo.grassi@pucrs.br.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27693887

Citation

Boeckel, Mariana G., et al. "Intimate Partner Violence Is Associated With Increased Maternal Hair Cortisol in Mother-child Dyads." Comprehensive Psychiatry, vol. 72, 2017, pp. 18-24.
Boeckel MG, Viola TW, Daruy-Filho L, et al. Intimate partner violence is associated with increased maternal hair cortisol in mother-child dyads. Compr Psychiatry. 2017;72:18-24.
Boeckel, M. G., Viola, T. W., Daruy-Filho, L., Martinez, M., & Grassi-Oliveira, R. (2017). Intimate partner violence is associated with increased maternal hair cortisol in mother-child dyads. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 72, 18-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2016.09.006
Boeckel MG, et al. Intimate Partner Violence Is Associated With Increased Maternal Hair Cortisol in Mother-child Dyads. Compr Psychiatry. 2017;72:18-24. PubMed PMID: 27693887.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Intimate partner violence is associated with increased maternal hair cortisol in mother-child dyads. AU - Boeckel,Mariana G, AU - Viola,Thiago Wendt, AU - Daruy-Filho,Ledo, AU - Martinez,Manuela, AU - Grassi-Oliveira,Rodrigo, Y1 - 2016/09/19/ PY - 2015/11/28/received PY - 2016/08/25/revised PY - 2016/09/15/accepted PY - 2016/10/4/pubmed PY - 2017/8/31/medline PY - 2016/10/4/entrez SP - 18 EP - 24 JF - Comprehensive psychiatry JO - Compr Psychiatry VL - 72 N2 - BACKGROUND: The chronic consequences of intimate partner violence (IPV) on HPA activation are a topic of debate. The current study investigated hair cortisol concentrations in female victims of IPV and their children. METHODS: A total of 52 mother-child dyads were divided into two groups depending on exposure to IPV: IPV group (n=27 dyads) and control group (n=25 dyads). Hair cortisol concentration was measured in 1-cm-long hair strands, representing 30days of exposure before assessment. PTSD and depression symptoms were assessed in the mother and child. RESULTS: Women reporting IPV presented with higher hair cortisol levels, depression and PTSD symptoms severity in comparison to control women. Children who witnessed IPV reported more severe PTSD symptoms, but depressive symptoms and hair cortisol were not statistically different than those in control children. Correlation analyses revealed a positive association between the number of injury events and the level of hair cortisol in children. No associations between the hair cortisol levels in mothers and those in their children were found. CONCLUSION: Higher hair cortisol levels detected in women exposed to IPV reflected long-lasting changes in HPA axis functioning associated with chronic stress exposure. Children whose parents recurrently engage in violent conflicts with intimate partners may often feel threatened and consequently reporting more PTSD-related symptoms. Given that experiencing and witnessing violence during childhood and adolescence are predictive of intimate partner violence in adulthood, the need of early interventions is crucial. SN - 1532-8384 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27693887/Intimate_partner_violence_is_associated_with_increased_maternal_hair_cortisol_in_mother_child_dyads_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0010-440X(15)30334-5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -