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The relationship of trauma to mental disorders among trafficked and sexually exploited girls and women

Hossain, Mazeda ORCID: 0000-0002-1878-8145, Zimmerman, Cathy, Abas, Melanie, Light, Miriam and Watts, Charlotte (2010) The relationship of trauma to mental disorders among trafficked and sexually exploited girls and women. American Journal of Public Health, 100 (12). pp. 2442-2449. ISSN 0090-0036

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Identification Number: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.173229


Objectives.We explored the association between traumatic events andmental health among girls and women trafficked for sexual exploitation. Methods. We used subscales of the Brief Symptom Inventory and Harvard Trauma Questionnaire to interview 204 trafficked girls and women in 7 post-trafficking service settings. Multivariate logistic regression models based on interview data were fitted for depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) separately and adjusted for pretrafficking abuse to determine impact of trafficking-related trauma exposures. Results. Injuries and sexual violence during trafficking were associated with higher levels of PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Sexual violence was associated with higher levels of PTSD (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=5.6; 95% con?dence interval [CI]=1.3, 25.4).More time in trafficking was associated with higher levels of depression and anxiety (AOR=2.2; 95% CI=1.1, 4.5). More time since trafficking was associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety but not of PTSD. Conclusions. Our findings inform the emerging ?eld of mental health care for trafficked persons by highlighting the importance of assessing severity and duration of trafficking-related abuses and need for adequate recovery time. Therapies for anxiety, PTSD, and mood disorders in low-resource settings should be evaluated.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2010 The American Journal of Public Health
Divisions: IGA: Centre for Women Peace and Security
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2019 08:48
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 17:30

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