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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2005 Jul;40(7):519-28. Epub 2005 Aug 15.

Violence and PTSD in Mexico: gender and regional differences.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Violence Prevention, Atlanta, GA, 30341, USA. cbaker@cdc.gov



We examined the lifetime prevalence of violence in Mexico and how different characteristics of the violent event effect the probability of meeting criteria for lifetime post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


We interviewed a probability sample of 2,509 adults from 4 cities in Mexico (Oaxaca, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Mérida) using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).


Lifetime prevalence of violence was 34%. Men reported more single-experience, recurrent, physical, adolescent, adulthood, and stranger violence; women more sexual, childhood, family, and intimate partner violence. Prevalence was generally higher in Guadalajara, though the impact was greater in Oaxaca compared to other cities. Of those exposed, 11.5% met DSM-IV criteria for PTSD. Probabilities were highest after sexual and intimate partner violence, higher for women than men, and higher in Oaxaca than other cities.


It is important to consider the characteristics and the context of violence in order to develop effective prevention and intervention programs to reduce the exposure to and impact of violence.

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