Relationship violence and psychological distress among low-income urban women

Terrence D. Hill, Krysia N. Mossakowski, Ronald J. Angel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper, we examined the association between relationship violence and psychological distress among low-income urban women. Extending prior research, we considered the effects of relationship violence within the context of other chronic stressors that are common in the lives of these women. Using data from the Welfare, Children, and Families project (1999), a probability sample of 2,402 low-income women with children living in low-income neighborhoods in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio, we predicted psychological distress with multiple measures of relationship violence, a wide range of sociodemographic variables, and several chronic stressors. Our results show that relationship violence is associated with higher levels of economic hardship, neighborhood disorder, and household disrepair. We also find that relationship violence is associated with higher levels of psychological distress, net of these other chronic stressors. Finally, we observe that the effects of relationship violence do not vary according to the chronic stressors under study. Because the adverse effects of relationship violence are similar for women despite other adverse circumstances, interventions and treatment efforts focused exclusively on relationship violence may make a unique contribution to the psychological well-being of low-income urban women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-551
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Volume84
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chronic stress
  • Mental health
  • Psychological distress
  • Relationship violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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