Latinas coping with intimate partner violence and posttraumatic stress disorder symptomatology

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Previous research indicates that survivors of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) are at a greater risk of developing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptomatology. IPV survivors often use maladaptive coping strategies in

Previous research indicates that survivors of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) are at a greater risk of developing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptomatology. IPV survivors often use maladaptive coping strategies in response to IPV that place them at a higher risk for PTSD. Cultural gender roles/beliefs have been known to influence coping methods. Marianismo, a Latino/a gender role belief, has not been investigated in relation to IPV, coping strategies, and PTSD among Latinas. This study examined whether physical, psychological, or sexual abuse by a romantic partner, coping strategies, and Marianismo were associated with PTSD symptomatology among 157 college-aged Latinas. The participants completed an on-line survey that assessed IPV frequency, disengaged and engaged coping, Marianismo, and PTSD symptomatology. Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed that, regardless of IPV type, more IPV and disengaged coping strategies were the best predictors of PTSD symptomatology. Marianismo did not significantly moderate the relation between coping and PTSD. However, the strong zero-order correlation between disengaged coping and Marianismo indicated they were highly correlated variables. The study findings are consistent with previous research that suggested that coping strategies are culturally dependent on beliefs and gender role expectations. Latinas may use more disengaged coping strategies because these methods may be deemed more culturally appropriate and reflect Marianismo beliefs. Psychologists working with Latina IPV survivors need to develop culturally sensitive approaches to psychoeducation on IPV and coping strategies that empower these women within their cultural belief systems and reduce their PTSD symptomatology.