Indirect effects of PTSD and complex PTSD in the relationship of polyvictimization with intimate partner violence victimization and perpetration among men in mandated treatment

Ohad Gilbar, Julian Ford*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Polyvictimization is associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe impairment, and re-victimization, including due to intimate partner violence (IPV), but polyvictmization’s role in the perpetration of IPV is less clear. Objective: To examine the indirect effect of PTSD and complex PTSD in the relationship between polyvictimization and IPV perpetration. Method: Polyvictims were identified by cluster analysis of self-reported lifetime victimization history data in a random national sample (N = 234) of men at 66 clinical treatment centers for domestic violence perpetrators in Israel. Results: Four sub-groups were identified: low exposure to abuse and physical neglect (C1, N = 105), and three polyvictim sub-groups characterized by multiple forms of past exposure to neglect and verbal abuse (C2, N = 38), to verbal and physical abuse without neglect (C3, N = 46), or to neglect and both verbal and physical abuse (C4, N = 28). Participants also were characterized as having low exposure to traumatic events across the lifespan (cluster L5, N=156), or high exposure to traumatic events across the lifespan (cluster L6, N=78). Complex PTSD symptoms had an indirect effect in the relationship between membership in the C3 and C4 polyvictimization clusters (β=.45, p<.05, β=.60, p<.05; respectively) and severity of psychological IPV victimization, as well as between C3 polyvictimization cluster membership and severity of psychological IPV perpetration (β=.32, p<.05). In contrast, PTSD symptoms had no indirect effect in any relationship between cluster membership and IPV outcomes. High lifetime trauma exposure also was directly associated with sexual IPV victimization. Conclusions: Complex PTSD may be a mechanism linking polyvictimization to the severity of both IPV victimization and perpetration. Clinical implications are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1794653
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Polyvictimization
  • complex PTSD
  • disturbances of self organization
  • intimate partner violence
  • posttraumatic stress disorder

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