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Annual and lifetime prevalence of partner abuse in a sample of female HMO enrollees

      Abstract

      Self-reported data from a survey of roughly 1,100 female health maintenance organization enrollees in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area are used to investigate the lifetime and annual prevalence of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse by intimate partners. The sample consists of a racially balanced and, for the most part, well-educated group of working women. Three dimensions of abuse based on responses to questions from a modified version of the Abuse Assessment Screen are employed. In addition to simple descriptive analyses, logistic regression was performed. The estimated annual prevalence is lower than estimates reported in other studies. However, lifetime prevalence is very similar to estimates found in primary care clinical samples and somewhat higher than those derived from population-based surveys. More highly educated women report the lowest lifetime prevalence of intimate partner abuse. The finding that this sample of well-educated, middle-class working women has lifetime prevalence rates similar to those of women who are not as well off demonstrates that intimate partner abuse is not limited to disadvantaged women from vulnerable population subgroups.
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