An Exploration of the Effects of Interpersonal Violence History on Physical Health Symptomatology in College Women: A Longitudinal Study

by Erin C. Tansill

Institution: Ohio University
Department: Psychology (Arts and Sciences)
Degree: MS
Year: 2010
Keywords: Health; Mental Health; Psychology; Public Health; Womens Studies; Interpersonal violence; trauma; physical health functioning; somatization; gynecological health
Record ID: 1876047
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ohiou1271439343


Interpersonal violence is notably prevalent on college campuses. Women are also frequently victims of early abuse as well (i.e., childhood physical, verbal, or sexual abuse). Prior research suggests that compounding abuse, or multiple abuse histories increase the severity and amount of physical health symptoms a survivor may experience after (an) assaultive incident(s). Prior research, however, has neglected to assess the health status of an individual prior to an assaultive incident to assess if prior health status impacts health symptomatology after an assault. The purpose of this research study was to assess physical health status prior to an assault and again after an assault occurs while also taking into account prior histories of various forms of childhood, adolescent, andadulthood abuse (i.e., sexual, physical, and verbal abuse). Along with these aims, this research study also assessed posttraumatic stress symptomatology as a possible mediator in the relationship between sexual assault and physical health symptomatology. The data from the current study suggests an additive relationship between abuse histories and physical health concerns. Posttraumatic stress symptomatology did not mediate the relationship between abuse experiences and physical health concerns. Further findings and implications will be discussed.