Intimate Partner Violence and Psychological Distress: Mediating Role of Stockholm Syndrome

Amna Ahmad, Mudassar Aziz, Gulnaz Anjum, Farah V. Mir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Intimate Partner Violence and its physical and psychological effects have been extensively studied. What the literature still lacks is the understanding of the role of Stockholm Syndrome in explaining the relationship between Intimate Partner Violence and Psychological Distress, especially in a non-western setting. Psychological Distress is considered as a natural consequence of Intimate Partner Violence, in the present study, it is intended to be explored when victims choose to justify the abuse they experience, hence, diminishing the negative psychological effects. The current study undertakes Stockholm Syndrome as a mediator between Intimate Partner Violence and Psychological Distress in a community sample of 212 individuals in married or dating relationships (from the cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Pakistan). The three aspects of Stockholm Syndrome; Core Stockholm Syndrome; rationalising abuse through distorted cognitions, Psychological Damage; negative effects of ongoing abuse, and Love-Dependence; the belief that survival is only possible through the love and compassion of the abuser, were tested as mediators. The analyses revealed that Core Stockholm Syndrome did not mediate the relationship between Intimate Partner Violence and Psychological Distress. Psychological Damage fully mediated the said relationship, and Love-Dependence partially mediated the relationship between Intimate Partner Violence and Psychological Distress. The differences in gender, marital status, and having children were also found and discussed in the light of previous literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-557
JournalPakistan Journal of Psychological Research
Volume33
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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