Resource loss moderates the association between child abuse and current PTSD symptoms among women


  • E. C. V. Costa
  • S. Guimarães
  • D. Ferreira
  • M. Pereira


Child abuse, adult rape, and resource loss were hypothesized to be associated with current post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among women interviewed in primary care settings (N = 767). Women who reported a history of child abuse also reported greater recent resource loss, higher current PTSD symptoms, and significantly more adult rape than women without any history of child abuse. Hierarchical logistic regression analyses show that child abuse and adult rape are predictive of current PTSD symptoms. Women who were abused as children are one to two times more likely to experience PTSD symptoms, compared to those who were not abused as children, with child sexual abuse showing the strongest effect and women reporting adult rape being almost twice as likely to report current PTSD symptoms than those not reporting it. The overall model explained 59.7% of the variance in the presence vs. absence of PTSD symptoms. Resource loss moderated the association between child abuse and current PTSD symptoms, with lower resources increasing the severity of traumatic stress symptoms. Our findings point to early assessment and intervention among abused and neglected women and their families as important ways to prevent resource loss, re-victimization, and associated mental-health sequels. The results also stress the need to help women acquire and maintain resources specially if they have been abused, suffer from PTSD symptoms, and have poorer resources.





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