243159 Title: Exposure to Violence And Mental Health Disorders Among African American and Afro-Caribbean Women

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 8:50 AM

Bushra Sabri, PhD, LMSW, ACSW , School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
Akosoa L. McFadgion, MS, MSW , School of Social Work, Howard University, Washington DC, DC
Richelle Bolyard, MHS , The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
Jamila K. Stockman, PhD, MPH , Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Marguerite Lucea, PhD, MPH, RN , School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
Desiree Bertrand, MSN, RN , School of Nursing, University of the Virgin Islands, Kingshill
Doris Campbell, PhD, ARNP, FAAN , University of the Virgin Island, St. Thomas
Gloria B. Callwood, PhD , University of The Virgin Island, St. Thomas
Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN , School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN , Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
The ACAAWS Team , School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Background: Mental health (MH) disorders are a significant source of morbidity and disability among women and victimization experiences increase the risk of MH problems (WHO, 2011). Furthermore, non-utilization and perceived ineffectiveness of community resources may exacerbate the risk of problems in MH domain. However, limited research focuses on the relationship between victimization experiences, resources and MH problems among African American (AA) women despite evidence indicating that AA women comprise a substantial proportion of victims of violence (Taft et al., 2009). This study examined whether victimization by an intimate partner (VIP), non-utilization and perceived ineffectiveness of social resources were risk factors for co-occurring MH problems (PTSD, depression, suicidality) among women of African descent. Furthermore, the study evaluated the potential mediating effect of resources (i.e., use of MH services and perceptions of resources) on the relationship between VIP and MH problems.

Method: Data for this cross-sectional study is derived from a large case-control research project examining the relationship between abuse status and health consequences among 600 women of African descent, aged 18-55 years. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between VIP, resources and MH problems among women after controlling for income and age.

Findings: VIP increased the likelihood of co-occurring MH problems. Furthermore, use of mental health services was positively related to co-occurring problems and appeared to mediate the relationship between victimization and co-occurring MH problems. These findings suggest that practitioners must thoroughly assess for women's victimization experiences and available resources to develop and implement targeted MH treatment plans.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe how victimization experiences and social resources may influence the mental health functioning of African American and Afro-Caribbean women.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a social work background with experience in the field of mental health. The study uses data from the Afro American and Afro Caribbean Research Project at Baltimore City and US Virgin Islands. I am part of the research team and therefore I am qualified to present.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.