Furthermore, with psychological health factors, physical health factors and public organisations being the super-ordinate themes, this study has identified and focused on a fair number of subordinate themes including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, suicide, for the psychological super-ordinate theme, short term and long-term health problems for the physical super-ordinate theme and support, concerns and screening for the public organisations super-ordinate theme. There seems to be a characteristic emerging from domestic violence literature which is concerned with the fact that psychological health is more affected when a woman has experienced domestic violence from a romantic partner in comparison to physical health. Additionally, psychological abuse was a main forecaster of mental health problems, specifically speaking of Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder and interestingly psychological abuse forced women to leave their abusive partners, even after bearing the effects of the physical abuse. In this respect, an example of this is the study conducted by Arias and Pape (1999) who looked at the psychological and physical abuse to battered women’s psychological adjustment and the intentions to terminate their abusive relationship was examined. Sixty-eight women who had experienced domestic violence gave information on their physical and psychological abuse, psychological symptomatology, strategies for coping, the perceptions of control over partner violence and the intentions to return to their abusive partners (Arias and Pape, 1999). Multiple regression analyses further suggested that the occurrence and extremity of physical abuse was not a vital forecaster of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptomatology, neither of women intending to leave their abusive spouse. However, it is believed psychological abuse was, on the other hand, a significant predictor of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptomatology and purposes to permanently leave abusive partners, even after controlling for the effects of the physical abuse (Arias and Pape, 1999). In this regard, conflicting to expectations, women tend to display resentment, dislike and fear in the direction of psychological abuse and the effects of psychological abuse more than that of physical abuse (Follingstad et al, 1990). Because of this, it is shocking as to why very minute attention has been given to the occurrence and impact of psychological abuse towards women’s physical and psychological health. A small experimental interest may be the main purpose of the need to attend to the harsh consequences of physical abuse and the expectations that psychological abuse may have few, temporary, less severe and less brutal consequences than that of physical abuse. However, it is important to note that even though physical abuse is seen to be noticeable, more clear and evident to the naked eye, psychological abuse can result in long term negative effects and additionally can cause hidden diseases, such as Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, which can be deadly if not treated appropriately. Another reason for the lack of research into psychological abuse may be due to the complications in measuring psychological abuse, which may have as a result delayed the progress of research and studies (Vitanza, Vogel and Marshall, 1995). Nevertheless, some if not much, empirical attention has been dedicated to the effects of abuse on women’s physical and psychological mental health. Aguilar and Nightingale, (1994) studies a sample of 48 battered women and 48 non-battered women to focus on the effects of physical abuse on women’s self-esteem. Battered women had low levels of self-esteem in comparison to non-battered women. Within the battered sample, psychological abuse was the only vital forecaster of low self-esteem. In addition to this, Follingstad et al (1990) found that women who had gone through psychological domestic violence more harmfully in comparison to women who had experienced physical abuse more harmfully stated distress and fear of the romantic partner, shame, low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. Furthermore, Arias, Street and Brody (1996) found that psychological abuse resulted in depression and problematic drinking, which continued subsequently after the depression was controlled. As well as this, the negative effects of women’s psychological abuse prolonged to their children where the psychological abuse resulted in emotionally negligent, neglectful and mistreating parenthood (Arias and Street, 1996). This then extended to depression and low self-esteem in the children. These reviewed studies propose that psychological abuse has a negative influence on the physical and psychological health of women. The results of the completed studies to date show the importance of examining and investigating women’s psychological alteration as well as examining the effects of physical abuse.
Very little research has considered the effects of adult abuse on women’s mental health, particularly in the United Kingdom. The relevant studies are conducted in North America but it’s relevance to domestic violence is very significant, with shedding some generic light on to the subject. To some extent, the small quantity of the United Kingdom knowledge base in domestic violence and mental health produces genuine concerns from women activists, campaigners and researchers that domestic violence will become medicalised and depoliticised if attention turns away from and does not consider women’s mental health problems (Mullender, 1996). As a future direction, more attention should be provided towards studying and researching both psychological and physical effects of domestic violence towards women in the United Kingdom on similar wavelengths, which will ensure that public organisations are successful in the programmes they run to offer support towards women who have experienced domestic violence in the United Kingdom. As well as this, more interventions can be put in place to guide policies and practices.
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