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Violence against women: impacts on psychological health and stress hormones

  • Author / Creator
    Chivers-Wilson, Kaitlin
  • This thesis contributes to the growing body of gender-specific health research by integrating both psychological and neuroendocrine data to assess the impacts of stress and violence on women's health. Women seeking support for intimate partner violence (IPV) were compared with women seeking support for non-interpersonal stressors (stress associated with immigration). Psychological measures included perceived stress and entrapment and mental defeat (EMD) scores as well as assessment of Axis I disorders. Neuroendocrine measures included basal levels of salivary cortisol and percent suppression of cortisol after the low-dose dexamethasone suppression test (DST). Positive relationships were found between experiences of IPV and perceived stress, EMD and Axis I diagnosis. The neuroendocrine measures did not differentiate IPV from non-interpersonal stressors and both groups showed hypersuppression of cortisol after the DST. IPV influences women's perceptions about EMD and perceived stress. By integrating neuroendocrine and psychological measures, further development of gender-specific stress models may occur.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2009-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3XW2Z
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Psychiatry
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Hegadoren, Kathy (Nursing)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Joyce, Anthony (Psychiatry)
    • Coupland, Nicholas (Psychiatry)