Psychological intimate partner violence and sexual risk behavior: Examining the role of distinct posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in the partner violence-sexual risk link
Background: Research has examined how physical and sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization increases sexual risk behavior, yet research is lacking on 1) the effect of psychological IPV on sexual risk behavior and 2) factors through which psychological IPV may be linked to sexual risk behavior. Methods: The current study examined the relationship between psychological IPV and sexual risk behavior controlling for other forms of IPV (i.e., physical and sexual) in a sample of 186 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative community women currently experiencing IPV. Further, this study examined the potential mediating effects of four posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity clusters (i.e., re-experiencing, avoidance, numbing, and hyperarousal) on this relationship. Findings: Results revealed that greater severity of psychological IPV was uniquely and directly related to greater sexual risk behavior. Additionally, of the four PTSD symptom severity clusters, only avoidance symptom severity mediated the relationship between psychological IPV and sexual risk behavior. Conclusion: Implications for addressing psychological IPV and PTSD to improve women's sexual health outcomes are discussed.
Women's Health Issues
Overstreet, Nicole M.; Willie, Tiara C.; Hellmuth, Julianne C.; and Sullivan, Tami P., "Psychological intimate partner violence and sexual risk behavior: Examining the role of distinct posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in the partner violence-sexual risk link" (2015). Psychology. 559.