Researchers at the University of Newcastle in Australia conducted a study to observe the psychological health of middle aged women who had lived with a violent partner or spouse at some point in their lives.

The study examined the psychological health correlates of domestic violence in a large random sample of middle aged Australian women (47-52 years). The researchers used logistic regressions to investigate the associations between domestic violence and depression, anxiety and psychological wellbeing. The researchers adjusted for demographic variables in the study, such as area, income management, martial status, and so on.

The researchers’ findings indicated the women had increased odds of having experienced domestic violence for those who had: ever experienced a diagnosis of depression, anxiety or other psychiatric disorders; used psychoactive medication for depression or anxiety in the 4 weeks prior to the study; recent symptoms of anxiety and depression; and who reported current depression.

Current psychological wellbeing had an inverse association with a history of domestic violence – that being, as psychological wellbeing decreased, the odds of having ever experienced domestic violence increased.

The researchers concluded that a history of domestic violence is associated with decreased psychological wellbeing in middle aged Australian women, and increased instances of anxiety and depression.

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