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Trauma, PTSD, and the Cycle of Violence Among Incarcerated Men and Women

Komarovskaya, Irina
Format
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Author
Komarovskaya, Irina
Advisor
Warren, Janet
Fan, Xitao
Jackson, Shelly
Gregory, Anne
Loper, Ann
Abstract
The present study examined the cycle of trauma and violence among incarcerated men and women. It is well established that majority of inmates experience traumatic events in their lives. However, little research is available on the patterns of traumatic exposure among men and women. The goals of the present study were to examine gender differences in the patterns of traumatic events; evaluate the rates of posttraumatic symptoms in the incarcerated population; and to assess the relationships between past traumatic exposure and future violent behavior and victimization in prison. The sample included 266 men and women incarcerated in Ohio prisons of various levels of security. A modified version of Trauma History Questionnaire (THQ, Green, 1996) was used to measure traumatic exposure. A modified version of Impact of Event Scale – Revised (IES-R, Weiss & Marmar, 1997) was used to assess PTSD symptoms. Current violent behavior and victimization in prison were measured by the participants' self-report on the Prison Violence Inventory (PVI, Warren et al., 2002). The results revealed that male and female inmates show similarly high rates of overall traumatic exposure. Men are more likely to experience such traumas as witnessing harm to others and interpersonal nonsexual trauma (e.g., physical assault), whereas women were more likely to be victimized sexually. Consistent with previous research, women demonstrated higher rates of posttraumatic symptomatology than did men. Past traumatic exposure was found to be a significant predictor of violent behavior and victimization in prison in both genders. Overall, higher rates of trauma and earlier age of onset of trauma was associated with increased violence and victimization in prison, illustrating the cycle of trauma and violence in incarcerated populations. The role of specific trauma-related factors in this cycle is discussed. Note: Abstract extracted from PDF text
Language
English
Published
University of Virginia, Curry School of Education, PHD, 2009
Published Date
2009-08-01
Degree
PHD
Collection
Libra ETD Repository
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