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Journal Article


Weiss NH, Duke AA, Overstreet NM, Swan SC, Sullivan TP. Aggressive Behav. 2015; 42(5): 427-440.


Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.


(Copyright © 2015, International Society for Research on Aggression, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)






A dearth of literature has examined the consequences of women's use of aggression in intimate relationships. Women's use of aggression against their intimate partners, regardless of their motivation (e.g., self-defense, retaliation), may elicit shame. Shame, in turn, may contribute to the maintenance and/or exacerbation of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, which are commonly experienced in this population. Further, emerging research suggests that emotionally avoidant coping strategies, such as substance use, may strengthen the relation between shame and PTSD symptoms. The goal of the present study was to examine whether women's shame concerning their use of intimate partner aggression is associated with their PTSD symptoms, and whether drug and alcohol use problems moderate this association. Participants were 369 community women who had used and been victimized by physical aggression in an intimate relationship with a male partner in the past six months. The intimate partner aggression-related shame × drug (but not alcohol) use problems interaction on PTSD symptom severity was significant. Analysis of simple slopes revealed that women's intimate partner aggression-related shame was positively associated with their PTSD symptoms when drug use problems were high, but not when drug use problems were low.

FINDINGS have implications for the potential utility of PTSD treatments targeting a reduction in shame and maladaptive shame regulation strategies (i.e., drug use) in this population. Aggr. Behav. 9999:1-14, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Language: en


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