Psychological Distress among Victimized Women on Probation and Parole: A Latent Class Analysis
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Latent class analysis was used to identify subgroups of victimized women (N = 406) on probation and parole differentiated by levels of general psychological distress. The 9 primary symptom dimensions from the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) were used individually as latent class indicators (Derogatis, 1993). Results identified 3 classes of women characterized by increasing levels of psychological distress; classes were further differentiated by posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, cumulative victimization, substance use and other domains of psychosocial functioning (i.e., sociodemographic characteristics; informal social support and formal service utilization; perceived life stress; and resource loss). The present research was effective in uncovering important heterogeneity in psychological distress using a highly reliable and easily accessible measure of general psychological distress. Differentiating levels of psychological distress and associated patterns of psychosocial risk can be used to develop intervention strategies targeting the needs of different subgroups of women. Implications for treatment and future research are presented.