This study uses Kraemer’s approach for nonrandom comorbidity to identify the parameters of revictimization among women, using a diverse, population-based sample. Participants (n = 11,056) are from the California Women’s Health Survey. Women were asked about childhood and adult violence and current symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. Logistic regressions adjusted for age, ethnicity, education, and poverty indicate that women who experienced childhood physical or sexual abuse were 5.8 (95% confidence interval, 5.2–6.4) times more likely to experience adult physical or sexual victimization. Revictimization affected 12% of women, and these women were substantially more likely to report current symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD than women exposed to violence only in childhood or only as an adult. Revictimization is a methodologically distinct concept and is a potent risk factor for adult mental health problems. Prevention should target women exposed to both physical and sexual assault.
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Rachel Kimerling, PhD, is a Research Clinical Psychologist at the National Center for PTSD and an Investigator at the Center for Health Care Evaluation, VA Palo Alto Health Care System. She is also the Co-Director of the Military Sexual Trauma Support Team, VA Office of Mental Health Services.
Jennifer Alvarez, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Health Care Evaluation, at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University School of Medicine. Her current interests include the epidemiology and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and military sexual trauma and the dissemination of empirically supported treatments for trauma-related disorders.
Joanne Pavao, MPH, is a Research Health Scientist at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. She is an epidemiologist whose research interests emphasize the health, mental health, and economic consequences of violence against women.
Amy Kaminski, MS, is a PhD candidate at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology and a research assistant at the National Center for PTSD.
Nikki Baumrind, PhD, MPH, is currently the Chief of the Office of Adult Research at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Accepted: November 28, 2006
Received in revised form: October 5, 2006
Received: August 18, 2005
© 2007 Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.