Violence and depression among ethnically diverse, low income women: Mediating and moderating factors

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This longitudinal study examined factors influencing the relationship between sustained partner violence and depression/suicidality among ethnically diverse, low income, community women. The sample at Wave 1 consisted of 303 African American, 273 Euro-American, and 260 Mexican American women in long term relationships with a household income less that twice the poverty threshold. There were no ethnic differences on frequency of partner violence, depression, or suicidality. The moderate relationship between partner violence and women's depression, confirmed previous findings. Frequency, but not recency, of violence predicted depression and suicidal ideation for African Americans and Mexican Americans, even after controlling for earlier depression ... continued below

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VanHorn, Barbara August 2000.

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  • VanHorn, Barbara

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This longitudinal study examined factors influencing the relationship between sustained partner violence and depression/suicidality among ethnically diverse, low income, community women. The sample at Wave 1 consisted of 303 African American, 273 Euro-American, and 260 Mexican American women in long term relationships with a household income less that twice the poverty threshold. There were no ethnic differences on frequency of partner violence, depression, or suicidality. The moderate relationship between partner violence and women's depression, confirmed previous findings. Frequency, but not recency, of violence predicted depression and suicidal ideation for African Americans and Mexican Americans, even after controlling for earlier depression or ideation. Recent violence did not predict Euro-American's depression or suicidality after controlling for initial scores. Causal and responsibility attributions for partners' violence did not mediate the relationship between violence and depression or suicidality in any ethnic group. However, African American women's attributions of global effects for violence mediated the relationship of violence on depression and suicidal ideation. Poverty level and marital status moderated the relationship between violence and the number of times women seriously considered and actually attempted suicide. Frequent violence was most lethal among the poorest women and marriage provided the least protection for women in the most violent relationships. Specifically, poverty status moderated violence on consideration of suicide for African Americans and Euro-Americans and suicide attempts among Mexican Americans. Marital status moderated partners' violence on suicidal ideation and attempts for Mexican Americans and consideration of suicide for Euro-Americans, but was not a moderator for African Americans' depression or suicidality. Women with different ethnic backgrounds appear to differ in the ways partner violence contributes to their depression and suicidality. Policy implications include the need to offer suicide intervention, particularly for low income women seeking services for violence. Mental health professionals should routinely inquire about partner violence when women present with depression or suicidality. Further, sensitivity to ethnic differences is recommended when confronting women's attributions regarding violence.

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  • August 2000

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  • Sept. 25, 2007, 9:05 p.m.

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  • Jan. 16, 2014, 2:18 p.m.

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VanHorn, Barbara. Violence and depression among ethnically diverse, low income women: Mediating and moderating factors, dissertation, August 2000; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2594/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .