Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Abusive experiences and psychiatric morbidity in women primary care attenders

  • Jeremy Coid (a1), Ann Petruckevitch (a1), Wai-Shan Chung (a1), Jo Richardson (a2), Stirling Moorey (a3) and Gene Feder (a4)...
Abstract
Background

Abusive experiences in childhood and adulthood increase risks of psychiatric morbidity in women and independently increase risks of further abuse over the lifetime. It is unclear which experiences are most damaging.

Aims

To measure lifetime prevalence of abusive experiences and psychiatric morbidity, and to analyse associations in women primary care attenders.

Method

A cross-sectional, self-report survey of 1207 women attending 13 surgeries in the London borough of Hackney, UK. Independent associations between demographic measures, abusive experiences and psychiatric outcome were established using logistic regression.

Results

Childhood sexual abuse had few associations with adult mental health measures, in contrast to physical abuse. Sexual assault in adulthood was associated with substance misuse; rape with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder but not substance misuse. Domestic violence showed strongest associations with most mental health measures, increased for experiences in the past year.

Conclusions

Abuse in childhood and adulthood have differential effects on mental health; effects are increased by recency and severity. Women should be routinely questioned about ongoing and recent experiences as well as childhood.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Abusive experiences and psychiatric morbidity in women primary care attenders
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Abusive experiences and psychiatric morbidity in women primary care attenders
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Abusive experiences and psychiatric morbidity in women primary care attenders
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor Jeremy Coid, Forensic Psychiatry Research Unit, St Bartholomew's Hospital, William Harvey House, 61 Bartholomew Close, London EC1A 7BE, UK. Tel: 020 7601 8138; fax: 020 7601 7969
Footnotes
Hide All

See invited commentary, pp. 340–341, this issue.

Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edn) (DSM-IV). Washington, DC: APA.
Bagley, C. & Ramsay, R. (1986) Sexual abuse in childhood: psychological outcomes and implications for social work practice. Journal of Social Work and Human Sexuality, 4, 3347.
Bifulco, A. Brown, G. W. & Harris, T. O. (1987) Childhood loss of parent, lack of adequate parental care and adult depression: a replication. Journal of Affective Disorders, 12, 115128.
Bifulco, A. Brown, G. W. & Adler, Z. (1991) Early sexual abuse and clinical depression in adult life. British Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 115122.
Breslau, N. Peterson, E. L. Kessler, R. C. et al (1999) Short Screening Scale for DSM-IV Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 908911.
Bulik, C. M. Prescott, C. A. & Kendler, K. S. (2001) Features of childhood sexual abuse and the development of psychiatric and substance use disorders. British Journal of Psychiatry, 179, 444449.
Burgess, A. W. & Holmstrom, C. L. (1974a) Rape trauma syndrome. American Journal of Psychiatry, 131, 981988.
Burgess, A. W. & Holmstrom, C. L. (1974b) Rape: Victims of Crisis. Bowie, MD: Brady.
Burnam, M. A. Stein, J. Golding, J. et al (1988) Sexual assault and mental disorders in a community population. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, 843850.
Bushnell, J. A. Wells, J. E. & Oakley-Browne, M. (1992) Long term effects of intrafamilial sexual abuse in childhood. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 85, 136142.
Coid, J. Petruckevitch, A. Feder, G. et al (2001) Relation between childhood sexual and physical abuse and risk of revictimisation in women: a cross-sectional survey. Lancet, 358, 450454.
Dinwiddie, S. Heath, A. C. Dunne, M. P. et al (2000) Early sexual abuse and lifetime psychopathology: a co-twin-control study. Psychological Medicine, 30, 4152.
Dube, S. R. Anda, R. F. Felitti, V. J. et al (2001) Childhood abuse, household dysfunction, and the risk of attempted suicide throughout the life span: findings from the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. JAMA, 286, 30893096.
Ellis, E. M. Atkeson, B. M. & Calhoun, K. S. (1981) An assessment of long term reaction to rape. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 90, 263266.
Ernst, C. Angst, J. & Foldenyi, M. (1993) The Zurich Study XVII. Sexual abuse in childhood. Frequency and relevance for adult morbidity data of a longitudinal epidemiological study. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 242, 293300.
Feldman-Summers, S. Gordon, P. & Meagher, J. (1977) The impact of rape on sexual satisfaction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 88, 101105.
Fergusson, D. M. Horwood, J. & Lynskey, M. (1996) Childhood sexual abuse and psychiatric disorder in young adulthood: II Psychiatric outcomes of childhood sexual abuse. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 13651374.
Giles-Sims, J. (1998) The aftermath of partner violence. In Partner Violence (eds Jasinski, J. L. & Williams, L. M.), pp. 4472. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Golding, J. M. (1999) Intimate partner violence as a risk factor for mental health disorders: a meta-analysis. Journal of Family Violence, 14, 99132.
Hill, J. Davis, R. Byatt, M. et al (2000) Childhood sexual abuse and affective symptoms in women: a general population study. Psychological Medicine, 30, 12831291.
Kessler, R. C. Davis, C. G. & Kendler, K. S. (1997) Childhood adversity and adult psychiatric disorder in the US National Comorbidity Survey. Psychological Medicine, 27, 11011120.
Koss, M. P. & Dinero, T. E. (1989) Discriminant analysis of risk factors for sexual victimisation among a national sample of college women. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57, 242250.
Mayfield, D. McLeod, G. & Hall, P. (1974) The CAGE questionnaire: validation of a new alcoholism screening instrument. American Journal of Psychiatry, 131, 11211123.
McCauley, J. Kern, D. E. Kolodner, K. et al (1995) The ‘battering syndrome’: prevalence and clinical characteristics of domestic violence in primary care internal medicine practices. Annals of Internal Medicine, 123, 737746.
McCauley, J. Kern, D. E. Kolodner, K. et al (1997) Clinical characteristics of women with a history of childhood abuse. Unhealed wounds. JAMA, 277, 13621368.
Merrill, L. L. Newell, C. E. Thomson, C. J. et al (1999) Childhood abuse and sexual revictimisation in a female navy recruit sample. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 12, 211225.
Mezey, G. C. & Taylor, P. J. (1988) Psychological reactions of women who have been raped. A descriptive and comparative study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 152, 330339.
Muehlenhard, C. L. & Linton, M. A. (1987) Date rape and sexual aggression in dating situations: incidence and risk factors. Journal of Counselling Psychology, 34, 186196.
Mulder, R. T. Beautrais, A. L. Joyce, P. R. et al (1998) Relationship between dissociation, childhood sexual abuse, childhood physical abuse, and mental illnessin ageneral population sample. American Journal of Psychiatry, 155, 806811.
Mullen, P. E. Romans-Clarkson, S. E. Walton, V. A. et al (1988) Impact of sexual and physical abuse on women's mental health. Lancet, i, 841845.
Mullen, P. E. Martin, J. L. Anderson, J. C. et al (1993) Childhood sexual abuse and mental health in adultlife. British Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 721732.
Mullen, P. E. Martin, J. L. Anderson, J. C. et al (1994) The effect of child sexual abuse on social, interpersonal and sexual function in adult life. British Journal of Psychiatry, 165, 3547.
Nadelson, C. Notman, M. Zackson, H. et al (1982) A follow up study of rape victims. American Journal of Psychiatry, 139, 12661270.
Newman, M. G. Clayton, L. Zuellig, A. et al (2000) The relationship of childhood sexual abuse and depression with somatic symptoms and medical utilization. Psychological Medicine, 30, 10651078.
Paradise, J. E. Rose, L. Sleeper, L. A. et al (1994) Behaviour, family function, school performance and predictors of persistent disturbance in sexually abused children. Paediatrics, 93, 452459.
Peters, S. D. (1988) Child sexual abuse and later psychological problems. In Lasting Effects of Child Sexual Abuse (eds Wyatt, G. & Powell, G.), pp. 101117. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Resick, P. Culhoun, K. Atkeson, B. et al (1981) Social adjustment in victims of sexual assault. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 5, 705712.
Richardson, J. Coid, J. Petruckevitch, A. et al (2002) Identifying domestic violence: cross sectional study in primary care. BMJ, 324, 274277.
SAS Institute (1997) SAS User's Guide: Statistics, Version 6.12. Cary, NC: SAS Institute.
Stein, J. A. Golding, J. M. Siegel, J. M. et al (1988) Long term psychological sequelae of child sexual abuse. In Lasting Effects of Child Sexual Abuse (eds Wyatt, G. & Powell, G.), pp. 135154. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Stern, A. E. Lynch, D. L. Oates, R. K. et al (1995) Self-esteem, depression, behaviour and family functioning in sexually abused children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 36, 10771090.
Walker, M. & Brodsky, S. (1976) Sexual Assault: The Victim and the Rapist. Lexington, MA: DC Heath.
Winfield, I. George, L. K. Swartz, M. et al (1990) Sexual asault and psychiatric disorders among a community sample of women. American Journal of Psychiatry, 147, 335341.
Zigmond, A. S. & Snaith, R. P. (1983) The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 67, 361370.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 20 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 67 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 3rd January 2018 - 21st April 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Abusive experiences and psychiatric morbidity in women primary care attenders

  • Jeremy Coid (a1), Ann Petruckevitch (a1), Wai-Shan Chung (a1), Jo Richardson (a2), Stirling Moorey (a3) and Gene Feder (a4)...
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *