"Complex" post traumatic stress disorder in battered women
Ferguson, Sandra Jean
It is argued that the diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) fails to capture the range of psychological consequences found in populations who have been chronically traumatised (Herman 1992). 'Complex' Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been postulated, which includes many of the commonly reported additional difficulties, in an attempt to overcome this weakness. The aim of this study is to examine the extent to which the symptoms of Complex PTSD are found in battered women (n=25), a chronically traumatised group. A sample of women in the community who have not experienced violence at the hands of a partner are used as controls (n=25). The relationship between Complex PTSD and PTSD is examined, as is the relative effects of hypothesised risk factors including; a history of childhood physical or sexual abuse, length of violent relationship, severity of violence experienced, concurrent stress and other traumatic experiences.