Armed Conflict, Intimate Partner Violence, and Mental Distress of Women in Northeastern Uganda: A Mixed Methods Study

Jennifer J. Mootz, Florence Muhanguzi, Brenna Greenfield, Meghan Gill, Miigis B. Gonzalez, Pavel Panko, Patrick Onyango Mangen, Milton L. Wainberg, Kaveh Khoshnood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

As global mental health research and programming proliferate, research that prioritizes women’s voices and examines marginalized women’s mental health outcomes in relation to exposure to violence at community and relational levels of the socioecological model is needed. In a mixed methods, transnational study, we examined armed conflict exposure, intimate partner violence (IPV), and depressive symptoms among 605 women in Northeastern Uganda. We used analysis of variance to test between groups of women who had experienced no IPV or armed conflict, IPV only, armed conflict only, and both; and linear regression to predict depressive symptoms. We used rapid ethnographic methods with a subsample (n = 21) to identify problem prioritization; and, to characterize women’s mental health experiences, we conducted follow up in-depth interviews (n = 15), which we analyzed with grounded theory methods. Thirty percent of the sample met the cut-off for probable major depressive disorder; women exposed to both IPV and armed conflict had significantly higher rates of depression than all other groups. While women attributed psychological symptoms primarily to IPV exposure, both past-year IPV and exposure to armed conflict were significantly associated with depressive symptoms. Women identified socioeconomic neglect as having the most impact and described three interrelated mental health experiences that contribute to thoughts of escape, including escape through suicide. Policy efforts should be interprofessional, and specialists should collaborate to advance multi-pronged interventions and gender-informed implementation strategies for women’s wellbeing. Additional online materials for this article are available on PWQ’s website at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/suppl/10.1177/0361684319864366

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-471
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Fingerprint

Uganda
violence
Mental Health
Depression
mental health
Women's Health
Major Depressive Disorder
Armed Conflicts
Intimate Partner Violence
Mixed Methods
Armed Conflict
Research
Suicide
Linear Models
Analysis of Variance
analysis of variance
grounded theory
suicide
Interviews
Psychology

Keywords

  • common mental disorders
  • depression
  • domestic violence
  • mixed methods
  • transnational
  • war

Cite this

Armed Conflict, Intimate Partner Violence, and Mental Distress of Women in Northeastern Uganda : A Mixed Methods Study. / Mootz, Jennifer J.; Muhanguzi, Florence; Greenfield, Brenna; Gill, Meghan; Gonzalez, Miigis B.; Panko, Pavel; Mangen, Patrick Onyango; Wainberg, Milton L.; Khoshnood, Kaveh.

In: Psychology of Women Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 4, 01.12.2019, p. 457-471.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mootz, JJ, Muhanguzi, F, Greenfield, B, Gill, M, Gonzalez, MB, Panko, P, Mangen, PO, Wainberg, ML & Khoshnood, K 2019, 'Armed Conflict, Intimate Partner Violence, and Mental Distress of Women in Northeastern Uganda: A Mixed Methods Study', Psychology of Women Quarterly, vol. 43, no. 4, pp. 457-471. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684319864366
Mootz, Jennifer J. ; Muhanguzi, Florence ; Greenfield, Brenna ; Gill, Meghan ; Gonzalez, Miigis B. ; Panko, Pavel ; Mangen, Patrick Onyango ; Wainberg, Milton L. ; Khoshnood, Kaveh. / Armed Conflict, Intimate Partner Violence, and Mental Distress of Women in Northeastern Uganda : A Mixed Methods Study. In: Psychology of Women Quarterly. 2019 ; Vol. 43, No. 4. pp. 457-471.
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