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Green BL, Dass-Brailsford P, Hurtado de Mendoza A, Mete M, Lynch SM, Dehart DD, Belknap J. Psychol. Trauma 2016; 8(4): 455-463.


(Copyright © 2016, American Psychological Association)






OBJECTIVE: Female offenders have different risk factors for offending than do male offenders, and elevated rates of interpersonal victimization such as physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, and family and community violence, are common in histories of incarcerated women. We used factor analysis to examine patterns of traumatic events experienced by women in jail and explored how these patterns were associated with 4 psychiatric disorders (posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], major depression, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorder) observed in this sample.

METHOD: A total of 464 women from 9 jails in 4 geographic regions in the United States comprised the sample. Women participated in diagnostic interviews to assess trauma exposure and psychiatric disorders.

RESULTS: Three factors described the observed patterns of trauma exposure: family dysfunction (FD), interpersonal violence (IPV), and external events (EE). Life events were analyzed as a separate group of items. FD and IPV each contributed independently to the odds of having each of the 4 mental disorders studied; significant odds ratios were in the range of 1.38-2.05. All 3 factors contributed to the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The only diagnosis to which stressful life events made a unique contribution was to the likelihood of having PTSD.

CONCLUSION: This work provides further support for the importance of assessing trauma exposure of women in jail, especially the family context, as well as mental health. Implementation and testing of evidence-based treatment approaches that address trauma-related distress in correctional settings are warranted. (PsycINFO Database Record

(c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

Language: en


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