Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms have been linked to intimate partner violence (IPV). However, not all victims develop these problems. This study analyzed the effects of different types of IPV and of attachment styles on PTSD symptoms, and tested insecure attachment styles as mediators in the IPV-PTSD link in a sample of Portuguese women including victims and non-victims of IPV (n=209). Differences between women with versus women without IPV in PTSD symptoms and in attachment styles were also examined. Women who reported IPV also reported more PTSD symptoms and more attachment anxiety than those who reported no IPV. Psychological aggression, physical violence with injury, and attachment anxiety contributed significantly to PTSD symptoms, while less attachment dependency had a negative association with PTSD symptoms, after controlling for socio-demographic factors. Attachment anxiety and attachment dependency partially mediated the association between physical violence with injury and PTSD symptoms. This study shows the impact of IPV on mental health and stresses the role of attachment anxiety as a risk factor for PTSD symptoms, highlighting the need to design effective interventions that address this specific attachment pattern in psychotherapy to reduce PTSD symptoms among victims of IPV.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Intimate partner violence, Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, Adult attachment, Women