"Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Distinction among Women and Children Exposed to Domestic Violence"
Courtney Kalmanson
Faculty Mentor:  Nicole Petersen

Center for Gender Symposium ~ 5:15-6:30pm ~ Heth 22
Patriarchal standards of society allow men to hold the power in heterosexual and familial relationships. This type of power often leads to domestic violence (DV) against women and children. DV is a risk factor for mental health problems. Commonly, women and children develop Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in response to DV. This paper focuses on the PTSD symptomatology distinction between women and children. Past research has found that across ages of children, intrusion symptoms seem to be the most prevalent, with avoidance symptoms less prevalent. It has also been found that women report higher levels of intrusion and hyperarousal symptoms. However, large discrepancies exist in the prevalence of symptoms of each cluster across age due to the cross- sectional nature of past research. Participants will be recruited from domestic violence shelters and will be surveyed using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist. Participants will be broken down into three groups, children ages 7 -12, 13-18 and women 18 and older. Assessing different age groups will lead to a more accurate depiction of the PTSD symptoms. It is predicted that children will exhibit more intrusion and avoidance symptoms, while women will experience more intrusion and hyperarousal symptoms. Severity and duration of DV will be a moderating variable between symptomatology clusters of PTSD among women and children. This will help clinicians better predict symptomatology among children and women survivors of DV.
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