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Violence Vict. 2007;22(1):3-17.

Examining the correlates of engagement and disengagement coping among help-seeking battered women.

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  • 1National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, MA 02130, USA.


This study examined several potential correlates of engagement and disengagement coping, including abuse-related factors, socioeconomic and social coping resources, and childhood trauma variables among a sample of battered women (N = 388). Relationship abuse frequency, particularly psychological aggression, and peritraumatic dissociation were the strongest positive predictors of the use of disengagement coping. Social coping resources, including tangible support and appraisals of social support and belonging, were associated with higher engagement coping and lower disengagement coping. A positive association was also found between interparental domestic violence and disengagement coping, and negative associations were found between both childhood physical and sexual abuse and engagement coping. Results suggest that coping strategies used by battered women are multidetermined and deserve further exploration.

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