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Mothers abused by partners see decline in mental health even after relationship ends
Date:8/24/2010

ir child at the end of the first year of the three-study.

They separated the mothers into three groups: those who experienced no abuse, those in controlling relationships (in which fathers were extremely critical and insulting, and controlled her actions) and those in physically violent relationships. They also looked at whether those relationships continued or ended by the end of the three years.

In addition, women were tested for levels of depression and anxiety, and levels of social support and religious involvement.

Results showed that all women including those in non-violent relationships who stayed with their partners throughout the study showed higher levels of depression and anxiety by the end of the three years.

That was probably because of the nature of this sample, Adkins said. These were nearly all low-income and minority women who had just become mothers, so they were under a lot of stress, Adkins said.

However, those who stayed in violent and controlling relationships and those who left such unions showed significantly greater increases in depression and anxiety, compared to those left or who remained in non-violent relationships.

Why did women who left violent and controlling relationships continue to experience larger increases in depression and anxiety?

A key reason may have been that, because of the shared child, the mothers still had substantial contact with their abusers.

Findings showed that, of abused women whose relationship ended, about half talked to or saw the father once a week. Only about a quarter were in contact with him a few times a year or less.

"They might be going through a divorce, or working out child arrangements. Research shows that more than a third of women continue to experience physical abuse and 95 percent experience emotional abuse following the end of the relationship. All of this adds to the stress and anxiety they already feel," Adkins
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Contact: Claire Kamp Dush
Kamp-dush.1@osu.edu
614-247-2126
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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