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Title:Brain Injury in Battered Women: Prevalence and Relationship to Cognitive Functioning and Psychopathology
Author(s):Valera, Eve Marie
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Berenbaum, Howard
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Abstract:The goals of this study were to: (1) examine the prevalence of brain injury in battered women; (2) examine the relationship between brain injury and cognitive functioning in battered women; (3) examine the relationship between brain injury and psychopathology in battered women; and (4) examine the various ways in which brain injury severity, partner abuse severity, cognitive functioning, and psychopathology influence one another. Ninety-nine battered women were assessed using neuropsychological, psychopathology, and abuse history measures. Women were recruited from both shelters and community-based programs. I found that almost three-quarters of the sample sustained at least one partner-related brain injury from their partners and that approximately half of the women sustained multiple brain injuries from their partners. Additionally, there appears to be a continuum of vulnerability to brain injury severity which is related to partner abuse severity. Second, I found that brain injury severity is related to some, but not all, aspects of cognitive functioning. Brain injury is associated with executive processing but is not associated with visual processing speed. Further, this relationship cannot be accounted for by partner abuse severity or psychopathology. Third, I found that brain injury in battered women is related to at least two facets of psychopathology, depression and PTSD symptomatology. This relationship could not be accounted for by partner abuse severity. Finally, I demonstrated that abuse severity was related to executive processing, but primarily via brain injury severity. The results of this study suggest new models for some of the cognitive and psychological problems often reported by battered women. These results have important implications for improving the treatment, services, and our understanding of battered women.
Issue Date:1999
Description:118 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9953165
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1999

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