Stigmatizing reactions versus general negative reactions to partner violence disclosure as predictors of avoidance coping and depression
Despite increased attention to the relation between negative social reactions to intimate partner violence (IPV) disclosure and poorer mental health outcomes for victims, research has yet to examine whether certain types of negative social reactions are associated with poorer mental health outcomes more so than others. Furthermore, research is scarce on potential mediators of this relationship. To fill these gaps, the current study examines whether stigmatizing reactions to IPV disclosure, such as victim-blaming responses and minimizing experiences of IPV, are a specific type of negative social reaction that exerts greater influence on women’s depressive symptoms than general negative reactions, such as being angry at the perpetrators of IPV. We also examine avoidance coping as a key mediator of this relationship. A cross-sectional correlational study was conducted to examine these relationships. Participants were 212 women from an urban northeast community who indicated being physically victimized by their male partner in the past 6 months. Findings from a multiple regression analysis showed that stigmatizing reactions, not general negative reactions, predicted women’s depressive symptoms. In addition, a multiple mediation analysis revealed that avoidance coping strategies, but not approach coping strategies, significantly accounted for the relationship between stigmatizing social reactions and women’s depressive symptoms. Findings have implications for improving support from informal and formal sources and subsequently, IPV-exposed women’s psychological well-being.
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Overstreet, Nicole M.; Willie, Tiara C.; and Sullivan, Tami P., "Stigmatizing reactions versus general negative reactions to partner violence disclosure as predictors of avoidance coping and depression" (2019). Psychology. 547.