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Family Violence Compromises Health of Older Women

Older African American women exposed to high levels of family violence during their lifetimes are at significantly greater risk of poor health status.

Higher lifetime exposure among older African American women to family violence, which may include intimate partner violence and elder maltreatment, is linked to worse physical and mental health, regardless of when the exposure occurred.

Researchers from Temple University School of Medicine (Philadelphia, PA) and Emory University School of Medicine (Atlanta, GA), used a survey to assess lifetime family violence levels, including physical violence, emotional, financial, and sexual abuse, neglect, and coercion.

They studied 158 African American women 50 years of age or older attending ambulatory medicine clinics at a large inner-city public hospital in the southeastern U.S. The authors also gathered measures of the women’s physical and mental health status.

In the article entitled, “Lifetime Exposure to Family Violence: Implications for the Health Status of Older African American Women,” the authors conclude that a holistic approach to caring for older African American women should include greater awareness by clinicians of current and past violence exposure and the negative effects it may have on the health status of these women.

“This study provides further evidence of the enduring harmful effects that family violence can have on both mental and physical health, and in particular it highlights the association between such exposure and the health of older African American women,” says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women’s Health.

The new report is found in the current issue of Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed journal.

Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

Family Violence Compromises Health of Older Women

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Family Violence Compromises Health of Older Women. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 25, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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