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Prospective mental health effects of intimate partner stalking among women veterans.

Davin KR, Dardis CM, Barth MR, Iverson KM. Prospective mental health effects of intimate partner stalking among women veterans. Psychological trauma : theory, research, practice and policy. 2022 Jul 1; 14(5):751-758.

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OBJECTIVE: Women veterans are disproportionately affected by intimate partner violence (IPV). Within the civilian literature, intimate partner stalking (IPS) is a common, uniquely deleterious form of IPV; the present study seeks to prospectively examine the psychological effects of IPS among women veterans. METHOD: Women veterans ( = 266) were recruited using the KnowledgePanel, a probability-based survey panel; participants completed surveys at time 1 (T1) and at time 2 (T2) follow-up 18 months later. Women responded to questionnaires assessing IPV and IPS experiences, and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. RESULTS: At T1, 54.5% of women reported lifetime IPV, of whom 64.1% reported IPS; at T2, 49.2% reported past-year IPV, of whom 7.6% experienced past-year IPS. Bivariately, women in the T1 IPS group reported higher T2 PTSD, depression, and anxiety symptoms than the T1 IPV only and no IPV groups. In a multivariate model, there remained indirect effects of T1 IPS on T2 PTSD symptoms, when other forms of violence (i.e., T1 and T2 IPV, MST, IPS) were controlled. CONCLUSIONS: When added to models including other forms of IPV, women who experienced IPS reported increased risk for PTSD symptoms, which predicted heightened PTSD symptoms over time. Providers treating women veterans should assess for experiences of IPS as an additional form of IPV and address PTSD to prevent the development of subsequent comorbid psychopathology. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

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