November 25, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Shorey Presents on Relationship Between PTSD Symptoms and Female-Perpetrated Intimate Partner Aggression

Dr. Ryan Shorey, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Ohio University,presented at a symposium on “Multimethod Examination of Mechanisms Underlying Women’s Intimate Partner Aggression” at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies annual convention Nov. 20-23 in Philadelphia.

Shorey also was a co-author on two posters by Joanna Elmquist of the University of Tennessee-Knoxvlle: “Motivations for Psychological Aggression Among Dating College Students” and “Characteristics of Parents Seeking Reunification With Their Children Following Allegations of Child Maltreatment.” Shorey was a co-author on a poster by William Woods of Grand Valley State University  on”Association Between Personal History of Dating Violence and Bystander Intervention Behaviors.”

Emotion Dysregulation as a Mediator of the Relationship Between PTSD Symptoms and Female-Perpetrated Intimate Partner Aggression

Abstract: A robust literature has documented posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms to be associated with male-to-female intimate partner aggression (IPA; Bell & Orcutt, 2009). However, to date, only a handful of studies have examined the relation between PTSD symptoms and female-to-male IPA. This is despite hundreds of studies demonstrating that females are as likely to use IPA as their male counterparts (Straus, 2011). This is particularly evident in young adult dating relationships where the prevalence of IPA peaks (O’Leary, 1999). Based on theoretical conceptualizations of both IPA and PTSD, it seems plausible that emotion dysregulation may mediate the relationship between PTSD symptoms and IPA. Indeed, theoretically, PTSD symptoms are believed to be maintained, in part, by emotion dysregulation (Tull et al., 2007), and emotion dysregulation is associated with female-to-male IPA among young adults (Shorey et al., 2011). Thus, the purpose of the present investigation was to examine whether emotion dysregulation mediated the association between PTSD symptom clusters and physical and psychological IPA among female (N=253) college students who were in a current dating relationship. Participants completed self-report measures of IPA (CTS2; Straus et al., 1996), emotion dysregulation (DERS; Gratz & Roemer, 2004), and PTSD symptoms (PCL; Weathers et al., 1993). In the previous six months, 78.3% of women used psychological IPA and 33.6% physical IPA. Results demonstrated all PTSD symptom clusters and emotion dysregulation to be positively associated with physical and psychological IPA. PTSD symptom clusters and emotion dysregulation were also positively correlated. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses demonstrated emotion dysregulation to partially mediate the relationships between re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal PTSD symptoms and physical IPA. Emotion dysregulation fully mediated the relationship between avoidance PTSD symptoms and psychological IPA and partially mediated for re-experiencing. Findings suggest that interventions designed to enhance adaptive emotion regulation may be useful in reducing the association between PTSD and female-to-male IPA.

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