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Problem-Focused Coping Mediates the Impact of Intimate Partner Violence on Mental Health among Chinese Women:
A Structural Equation Modeling

Psychology of Violence. Vol 6(2): 313-322. 2016.
Wong J.Y.H., Fong D.Y.T., Choi W.M., Tiwari A., Cha K.L. and Logan T.K.


Our study focused on understanding on the ways that abused Chinese women cope and aimed to examine the mediating role of coping strategies between the relationships of intimate partner violence (IPV; including partner stalking) and mental health problems. 

A population-based household survey was completed by 550 Chinese community-dwelling women. Data on the mediating roles of coping strategies were examined using structural equation models. Results: The prevalence of IPV among Chinese women was 22.9% for psychological abuse, 6.5% for physical abuse, 2.2% for sexual abuse, and 4.2% for partner stalking in the past year. Abused women used more active coping (p = .01), planning (p = .006), and self-distraction (p = .02) than nonabused women. Results supported the mediating effect of problem-focused and passive coping strategies, but not emotion-focused coping, in the pathways of IPV and mental health outcomes (root mean squared error of approximation = .063, comparative fit index = .93, Tucker-Lewis index = .91, and standardized root mean squared residual = .06). Negative mental health outcomes significantly decreased by problem-focused coping (β = −5.16, 95% confidence interval [CI] = −9.56, −.77, p = .021) and significantly increased by passive coping (β = 4.72, 95% CI = 1.24, 8.19, p = .008). 

Abused women used multifaceted types of coping. Both problem-focused and passive coping mediated the IPV-mental health outcomes link. The findings reinforced the importance of helping abused women find practical ways to cope with IPV. 

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