Prof. Rachel Dekel – Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Upon Admission To Shelters Among Female Victims Of Domestic Violence: An Ecological Model Of Trauma



The study used the ecological model of trauma and recovery (Harvey, 1996) to examine the rates of probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among female victims of domestic violence. Five hundred and five participants completed questionnaires upon entering shelters in Israel. Analysis showed that 61% of the participants reported probable PTSD. Childhood exposure to violence, violence severity, and feeling helpless were all associated with high PTSD levels. By contrast, Ethiopian ethnicity, social support, and a stronger sense of control were associated with lower PTSD levels. However, the interaction between social support and violence duration showed that social support did not moderate PTSD when exposure to violence endured. The study emphasizes that resources deteriorate, and that policy-augmenting prevention programs would increase treatment potential to strengthen survivors’ coping capacities.

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