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J Trauma Stress. 2008 Apr;21(2):173-80. doi: 10.1002/jts.20318.

PTSD symptom clusters are differentially related to substance use among community women exposed to intimate partner violence.

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  • 1Division of Prevention and Community Research, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.


Women who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) have higher rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse compared to women who do not experience IPV. However, the extent to which IPV-related PTSD symptoms are related to women's substance use involvement largely has been unexplored. The current study investigated PTSD symptomatology and substance use in a community sample of 212 IPV-exposed women. Drug-using women reported higher PTSD severity scores compared to women who reported no substance use or alcohol use only. Moreover, the reexperiencing, avoidance and numbing, and arousal clusters demonstrated unique associations with substance use involvement. Findings not only elucidate the associations among IPV-related PTSD symptoms and substance use, but they also can inform community-based preventive interventions.

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