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Lone mothers' experience of physical and sexual violence: association with psychiatric disorders

  • Peter Butterworth (a1)

Abstract

Background

Violence against women is increasingly recognised as an important issue in both research and social policy.

Aims

To assess the lifetime experience of physical and sexual violence among lone and partnered mothers and the association with psychiatric disorders.

Method

Analysis of the Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. The representative sample included 2232 women with children who completed the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, a scale of psychological distress and sociodemographic measures.

Results

Lone mothers were more likely to have psychiatric disorders (odds ratios between 2.4 and 3.4) and have experienced physical and sexual violence (odds ratios between 31 and 41) than partnered mothers. The measures of physical and sexual violence were better predictors of psychiatric disorders than either lone parent status or the sociodemographic measures.

Conclusions

Experience of physical and sexual violence accounted for much of the greater prevalence of psychiatric disorders among lone compared with partnered mothers.

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Copyright

References

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Lone mothers' experience of physical and sexual violence: association with psychiatric disorders

  • Peter Butterworth (a1)
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