An exploratory examination of the associations between insomnia, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, and intimate partner violence victims' return to court for orders of protection
Mazzotta, Catherine M.
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The linkages between intimate partner violence, posttraumatic stress disorder, and insomnia have only recently been the subject of inquiry. Until this study, research about the relationship between insomnia and posttraumatic stress disorder in the lives of intimate partner violence victims has been non-existent. This study begins to address a gap in the literature by analyzing associations between intimate partner violence, clinical level insomnia, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, age, race, employment status, and intimate partner violence victims' return to court. In particular, this exploratory study examines whether clinical level insomnia, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, or both are associated with a greater probability that a victim of intimate partner violence will not return to court to pursue a permanent civil order of protection. Data were collected through surveys, interviews, and reviews of court records on 112 women who resided in upstate New York. Study participants initiated actions to obtain orders of protection from the Domestic Violence Intensive Intervention Court, a specialized domestic violence civil court, from 2007 to 2008. The following factors were analyzed to determine their impact on whether a woman returned to court: (a) age, (b) race, (c) employment status, (d) perceived danger, (e) posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, and (f) clinical level insomnia. This study finds significant relationships between several factors: clinical level insomnia and perceived danger, clinical level insomnia and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, race and return to court, and severe danger level and return to court. However, in the final logistic regression models, only race emerged as a predictor of whether a woman returned to court. Specifically, women of color were a third less likely to return court than white women. These results have significant implications for future research and clinical intervention.