Domestic Violence, Psychological Distress, and Physical Illness among New Zealand Women: Results from a Community-Based Study

Nikolaos Kazantzis, Ross A. Flett, Nigel R. Long, Carol MacDonald, Michelle Millar

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13 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to measure the prevalence of psychological distress and physical illness among women in New Zealand, and to identify the risk factors for psychological distress and health, with specific reference to domestic violence. A survey was carried out among a community sample of 961 women aged 19-90 years. Among all women surveyed, 25% were classified as experiencing psychological distress at the time of interview, 22% were classified as experiencing severe symptoms of physical illness, and 17% reported domestic violence by a family member at some point in their lives. Among those women who had experienced domestic violence, the perception that their life was in serious danger and the impact of the violence on their life each contributed significantly to variability in psychological distress (22% variance accounted). An estimated 12% of all cases of psychological distress and 7% of all cases of serious physical illness were attributable to domestic violence. The study underscores the need to improve policy for mental and physical health screening and care for abused women within health services in New Zealand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes

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