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Intimate Partner Violence and Depression Among Women

J Interpers Violence; 2019 Apr; Overstreet, Willie, et al

Despite increased attention to the relation between negative social reactions to intimate partner violence (IPV) disclosure and poorer mental health outcomes for victims, research has not explored whether certain types of negative social reactions are associated with poorer mental health outcomes more so than others. In order to fill these gaps, a recent study sought to examine whether stigmatizing reactions to IPV disclosure, such as victim-blaming responses and minimizing experiences of IPV, are a specific type of negative social reaction that exerts greater influence on women’s depressive symptoms than general negative reactions. Researchers also examined avoidance coping as a key mediator of this relationship. A cross-sectional correlational study included 212 women who indicated being physically victimized by their male partner in the past 6 months. Researchers found:

  • A multiple regression analysis showed that stigmatizing reactions, not general negative reactions, predicted women’s depressive symptoms.
  • In addition, a multiple mediation analysis revealed that avoidance coping strategies, but not approach coping strategies, significantly accounted for the relationship between stigmatizing social reactions and women’s depressive symptoms.


Overstreet NM, Willie TC, Sullivan TP. Stigmatizing reactions versus general negative reactions to partner violence disclosure as predictors of avoidance coping and depression. J Interpers Violence. 2019;34(8):1734-1752. doi:10.1177%2F0886260516653753.