Title

Intimate Partner Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms: Indirect Effects Through Negative and Positive Emotion Dysregulation

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

1-1-2021

Abstract

Women who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) are at heightened risk for developing posttraumatic stress (PTS). Emotion dysregulation has been linked to both IPV and PTS, separately, however, unknown is the role of emotion dysregulation in the relation of IPV to PTS among women who experience IPV. Moreover, existing investigations in this area have been limited in their focus on negative emotion dysregulation. Extending prior research, this study investigated whether physical, sexual, and psychological IPV were indirectly associated with PTS symptom severity through negative and positive emotion dysregulation. Participants were 354 women who reported a history of IPV recruited from Amazon’s MTurk platform (Mage = 36.52, 79.9% white). Participants completed self-report measures assessing physical (Conflict Tactics Scale), sexual (Sexual Experiences Scale), and psychological (Psychological Maltreatment of Women) IPV; negative (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale) and positive (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale-Positive) emotion dysregulation; and PTS symptom severity (PTSD Checklist for DSM-5) via an online survey. Pearson’s correlation coefficients examined intercorrelations among the primary study variables. Indirect effect analyses were conducted to determine if negative and positive emotion dysregulation explained the relations between physical, sexual, and psychological IPV and PTS symptom severity. Physical, sexual, and psychological IPV were significantly positively associated with both negative and positive emotion dysregulation as well as PTS symptom severity, with the exception that psychological IPV was not significantly associated with positive emotion dysregulation. Moreover, negative and positive emotion dysregulation accounted for the relationships between all three IPV types and PTS symptom severity, with the exception of positive emotion dysregulation and psychological IPV. Our findings provide support for the potential underlying role of both negative and positive emotion dysregulation in the associations of IPV types to PTS symptom severity. Negative and positive emotion dysregulation may be important factors to integrate into interventions for PTS among women who experience IPV.

Publication Title

Journal of Interpersonal Violence

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