Despite increasing attention given to the high prevalence and effects of abuse in the severely mentally ill, few studies have looked at its effects among males. While both male and female psychiatric patients report greater abuse history than the general population, studies have focused on females alone. The current study compared the effects of abuse history between 271 severely mentally ill males (n = 160) and females (n = 111). The mean age of participants was 33.7 years (SD = 9.73), and included 129 Caucasians, 120 African Americans, 15 Hispanic-Americans, and 7 “Other” (i.e., Asian and native American descent). Primary Axis I diagnoses included Bipolar disorder (23.2%) major depressive disorder (27.7%) schizophrenic disorder (26.6%), substance-related disorders (10.3%), and miscellaneous disorders (12.1%). Each patient completed a comprehensive assessment, including clinician ratings, self-report measures, clinical and structured interviews. Comparisons between genders revealed that females were more likely to report both physical and sexual abuse, and males were more likely to report no history of abuse. In addition, Caucasians were more likely to report abuse than were African Americans, and voluntary patients were more likely to endorse abuse history than those admitted involuntarily. Few gender differences were found in psychological symptoms among males and females. Satisfaction with the home environment was significantly lower for abused than nonabused females. This was not true for males. However, abused psychiatric patients were perceived by the physicians, nurses, and themselves as having greater emotional disturbance than were nonabused patients, regardless of gender. Clinical implications are discussed.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 23, 2004
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