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Intimate partner violence: relationships between alexithymia, depression, attachment styles, and coping strategies of battered women

Intimate partner violence: relationships between alexithymia, depression, attachment styles, and coping strategies of battered women

Journal of Sexual Medicine 11(6): 1484-1494

One of the most common forms of violence against women is the intimate partner violence (IPV). This term includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and controlling behaviors by an intimate partner. This exploratory study investigates the relationship between alexithymia, adult attachment styles, depression, and coping strategies in a group of female victims of IPV and a control group. Participants were 80 female victims of IPV with an age range from 18 years to 54 years (mean 31.62; standard deviation 9.81). The control group included 80 women with no history of IPV with an age range from 19 years to 37 years (mean 25.05; standard deviation 3.67). We administered the following self-report questionnaires: (i) 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20); (ii) Coping Orientation Problems Experienced; (iii) Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)-II; and (iv) Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ). Compared with control group, the IPV group showed higher mean scores on TAS-20 (52.9 vs. 41.1, P < 0.001) and BDI-II (19.50 vs. 9.95, P < 0.001). In both groups, we found significant correlations between BDI-II and TAS-20 total scores (P < 0.001) and between BDI-II and the following dimensions of ASQ: confidence (P < 0.001), discomfort with closeness (P = 0.002), relationships as secondary (P < 0.001), need for approval (P < 0.001), and preoccupation with relationships (P < 0.001). Differently from the control group, in the IPV group, social support correlated significantly and positively (P < 0.001) with the dimension preoccupation with relationships on ASQ, but not with the secure attachment style. In comparison to the control group, alexithymia, depressive symptoms, and an insecure attachment style were negatively correlated with the ability to cope with stress for women in the IPV group.

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Accession: 053934129

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 24621112

DOI: 10.1111/jsm.12505

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