Domestic Violence and Treatment Seeking: A Longitudinal Study of Low-Income Women and Mental Health/Substance Abuse Care

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A study with 591 low-income women examined domestic violence's role in treatment seeking for mental health or substance abuse problems. (The women resided in one of two California counties.) Following Aday's behavioral model of health services utilization, the secondary data analysis considered the women's need, enabling, and predisposing factors. Generalized estimating equations analyzed the women's longitudinal records of treatment seeking. Results showed that those in the sample who were likely to seek treatment had experienced three or more controlling behaviors and only one abusive behavior. Multivariate data analysis showed treatmentseeking women were likely to be white and older; responsible for few dependent children; not graduates of high school; employed; not participating in Medicaid; diagnosed; and perceiving a need for treatment. The implications of these results for services and policies are discussed.



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