Empowerment, PTSD and revictimization among women who have experienced intimate partner violence.Psychiatry Res. 2018 08; 266:103-110.PR
Empowerment is associated with lower posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and intimate partner violence (IPV) revictimization, but the direction of these associations remains unknown. Two models were assessed: one in which empowerment is protective against future IPV revictimization and PTSD symptoms, and one in which PTSD symptoms lead to reductions in empowerment and increases in IPV revictimization. Drawn from a probability-based access survey panel of U.S. adults, the present sample included 101 women veterans who experienced past-year IPV. Baseline demographics were assessed (T0), with surveys conducted at Time 1 (T1; 18-month interim), and Time 2 (T2; 6-month interim). Cross-lagged panel models assessed the two models separately among women who reported only T1 psychological IPV victimization (58%) and women who reported T1 physical and/or sexual IPV victimization. Among psychological IPV victims, T1 empowerment was significantly associated with decreased T2 PTSD symptoms, whereas among women who reported physical and/or sexual IPV victimization, T1 empowerment was significantly associated with decreased T2 IPV revictimization. The model in which PTSD symptoms confer risk for lower empowerment was not supported; however, higher T1 PTSD symptoms were associated with increased IPV revictimization among women who reported psychological IPV only. Findings can inform interventions for IPV survivors.