Impact of Intimate Partner Violence on Pregnant Women’s Mental Health: Mental Distress and Mental Strength

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The mental health consequences of living with intimate partner violence (IPV) are substantial. Despite the growing awareness of the incidence of depression and PTSD in women experiencing IPV, few studies have examined prospectively the experience of IPV during pregnancy and the impact of the abuse on women’s mental health. As a component of a larger clinical trial of an intervention for pregnant abused women, 27 women participated in a qualitative study of their responses to the abuse in the context of pregnancy and parenting. Results indicate that women’s changing perceptions of self was related to mental distress, mental health, or both mental distress and mental health.