The Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence and its Association With Anxiety and Depression Severity
This poster was presented at the 30th annual Psych Congress, held Sept. 16-19, 2017, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Despite previous studies of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and its association with mental illness in vulnerable populations, the prevalence of IPV in college students remains unexamined. Moreover, the relationship between IPV and the severity of depression and anxiety in this population has also not been investigated. Therefore, a cross-sectional study of undergraduate students in a Southern California university was performed to identify the prevalence of IPV, depression, and anxiety severity. The disseminated survey included the Hurt, Insult, Threaten, and Scream (HITS) screening tool for domestic violence to determine IPV prevalence, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale 7 (GAS-7) to determine anxiety severity, and the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) to determine depression severity. Respondents that were positive for IPV were then compared in terms of both GAS-7 and PHQ-9 scores using a two-tailed t-test and assuming unequal variances. From a total of 396 individuals, 5% screened positive for IPV (n=18). This IPV-positive cohort was associated with both greater anxiety severity (10.83±5.711 versus 6.23±5.355; p=0.003) and greater depression severity (12.06±6.384 versus 7.34±6.266; p=0.007). These findings indicate that undergraduate students experiencing IPV may also exhibit higher severity of anxiety and depression. By recognizing this association, additional screenings for anxiety and depression can be employed when treating students who have reported IPV. Understanding the relationship is integral for student health services to maintain the mental well-being of its student body.