The longitudinal impact of intimate partner aggression and relationship status on women's physical health and depression symptoms

Laura E. Watkins, Anna E. Jaffe, Lesa Hoffman, Kim L. Gratz, Terri L. Messman-Moore, David DiLillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Intimate partner aggression (IPA) has many detrimental effects, particularly among young women. The present study examined the longitudinal effects of IPA victimization and relationship status on physical health and depression symptoms in a sample of 375 community women between the ages of 18 and 25 years. All variables were assessed at 4 occasions over a 12-month period (i.e., 1 assessment every 4 months). Multilevel modeling revealed that IPA victimization had both between- and within-person effects on women's health outcomes, and relationship status had within-person effects when women did not report current IPA. Although IPA was generally related to greater physical health problems and depression symptoms, these findings varied depending on both the type of aggression experienced (i.e., psychological vs. physical) and relationship status (i.e., whether participants were in the same relationship or a new relationship). Findings suggest that IPA can be harmful to both physical and mental health, particularly among young women who stay in abusive relationships. Results highlight the importance of developing effective IPA intervention programs and providing help and resources to women who are experiencing physical or psychological IPA in their relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-665
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Depression
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Longitudinal
  • Multilevel modeling
  • Physical health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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