Ridings, L. E., Beasley, L. O., Bohora, S. B., Daer, J. L., Owora, A., & Silovsky, J. (2016) Longitudinal investigation of depression, intimate partner violence, and supports among vulnerable families. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31(6), 1074-1094.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) affects nearly 12 million individuals and their families each year in the United States. Many negative outcomes are associated with IPV, with depression being one of the most prevalent mental health problems. Most previous studies on IPV have used cross-sectional designs to examine the potential protective effects of support on depression. The current study fills this gap by conducting a longitudinal investigation of the roles of social support and family resources on depression among caregivers of young children. The study sample consisted of 548 female caregivers. Findings suggest that among those with an IPV history, those with higher social support reported lower depressive symptoms than those with less social support. No significant interaction was found for family resources and IPV. Rather, family resources had a main effect on depressive symptoms with no differential impact based on IPV status. Findings suggest the importance of connecting vulnerable families to supports such as social support and family resources to help mitigate depressive symptoms. Future research should consider the underlying mechanisms of social support as a protective factor among IPV victims with depression.