Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

Anne M. Teitelman


Intimate partner violence (IPV), the physical, sexual, psychological abuse or control by a former or current intimate partner, affects almost one-third of women in the United States. IPV exposure can result in many negative outcomes including physical injury, increased stress, and depression. Currently, there is a growing body of literature examining the link between IPV victimization and poor heart health. However, there is little known on how IPV impacts cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk among young adult women and what outcomes associated with IPV victimization may be increasing this risk. Using a physiologic framework and a stress and coping framework, a secondary analysis of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) was conducted to examine the association between past year IPV exposure and 30-year CVD risk score among a representative sample of young adult women in the United States. Regression analyses were run to examine the relationship between IPV and 30-year CVD risk score. Multiple mediation analyses were run to examine possible mediating factors in the relationship between IPV and CVD risk including perceived stress, depressive symptoms, alcohol dependence, and high sensitivity C-reactive protein levels. The results of the bivariate analyses suggested that past year IPV exposure may have a small impact on 30-year risk score, however this finding becomes insignificant when important covariates are introduced into the model highlighting the complexity of IPV and its co-occurring phenomenon. The mediation analyses revealed that perceived stress and depressive symptoms were partial independent mediators of the relationship between IPV and 30-year CVD risk score. In a multiple mediation model, the indirect effect of perceived stress became insignificant when depressive symptoms were introduced. The findings of this study reveal that 30-year CVD risk in the context of IPV victimization should continue to be examined among this population. The mediation models suggested the importance of stress and depression in the context of IPV and heart health. Screening for depression among women exposed to IPV should be considered as an important intervention point, not only to mitigate mental health issues, but to also help prevent the development of cardiovascular disease.

Included in

Nursing Commons