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Criminal Victimization, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Comorbid Psychopathology Among a Community Sample of Women

NCJ Number
Journal of Traumatic Stress Volume: 11 Issue: 4 Dated: October 1998 Pages: 665-678
Date Published
14 pages

Relationships among victimization status, crime factors, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and several other psychological disorders were investigated using a sample of 391 adult female residents of Charleston County, South Carolina.


Data were obtained through personal interviews using the Incident Classification Interview and the Diagnostic Interview Schedule. Results indicated that crime victims were more likely than nonvictims to suffer from PTSD, major depressive episodes, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia, and simple phobia. Further, life threat was associated with increased risk of major depression, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social phobia. Completed rape was strongly related to almost every disorder assessed, while robbery and burglary were not related to any disorder. When demographics, victimization status, and crime factors were hierarchically entered into multivariate logistic regressions with PTSD in the final step, associations among victimization status, other crime characteristics such as life threat and injury, and non-PTSD Axis I disorders were greatly reduced. Findings suggest that PTSD may be an important mediating factor in the victimization-psychopathology relation for many disorders. 25 references and 7 tables

Date Published: January 1, 1998