Domestic Violence as a Risk Factor for Psychosis in Bolivia

Kiersten Johnson, Macro International Inc.

The experience of domestic violence is positively associated with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse. While research suggests that traumatic, victimizing events are partially causally associated with psychosis, few studies have explored the association between domestic violence and psychotic symptoms, particularly in a developing country context. Using data from the 2003 Bolivia DHS, logistic regression is used to discern the risk factors for self-reported psychotic symptoms. Women who report domestic violence are 43% more likely to hear voices speaking to them than those who have not experienced domestic violence. Women whose mothers were beaten by their fathers are 20% more likely to report hearing voices, and women who were severely punished as children were 14% more likely to hear voices. These findings highlight the importance of the provision of mental health services that are also capable of addressing the problem of domestic violence, and vice versa.

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Presented in Session 51: Population Perspectives on Mental Health