International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 13 Num. 1 - March 2013


Violence against women and symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress: The role of social support.

Volume 13 Num. 1 - March 2013 - Pages 31-45


Sara Buesa , Esther Calvete


This study evaluated the role of different types of perceived social support (formal, from family, friends and a significant person) in symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress in women victims of intimate partner violence. The study examined whether social support, both alone and in interaction with the severity of violence, was associated with symptoms, and whether social support predicted the breakup with the abusive relationship in the follow up. The 157 victims that took part in this study completed measures of physical, psychological and sexual abuse, as well as measures of perceived social support. The results showed that only perceived support from a reliable person was associated with lower symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress. This result is important because, precisely, the victims pointed out that this type of social support was the one that they lacked more. The greatest degree of satisfaction they showed was with formal support, which, despite its lack of association with psychological symptoms, was associated with the break-up with the abusive relationship.

Key words:

social support, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, victims, maltreatment

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