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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


ILLANES V, Eduardo; BUSTOS M, Luis; VIZCARRA L, María Beatriz  and  MUNOZ N, Sergio. Social and familial determinants of anxiety and depressive symptoms in middle to low income women. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2007, vol.135, n.3, pp.326-334. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Among women, risk factors for mental disorders are violence, economical inequities and disadvantages and discrimination. Aim: To determine the prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms in women and to determine factors associated with them. Material and methods: A cross sectional study of a probabilistic sample of 422 women aged 34 years as a mean, living in a medium to low income neighborhood in Temuco, Chile. Mental health was assessed with the self reporting questionnaire (SRQ20), partner violence was evaluated using a 12 item scale and family conflict and violence was evaluated using the Conflicts Tactics scale. A logistic repression analysis was used to identify factors associated with mental health alterations. Results: Forty one percent of women had anxiety or depressive symptoms. The main associated factors with these symptoms were severe physical violence against children (odds ratio (OR) =14.3), sexual violence against women (OR =9.7), self perception of health (OR =4.5), alcohol abuse (OR =4.4), psychological violence during childhood (OR =3.2) and lack of family support network (OR =2.7). Unemployment and lack of a support network of relatives had an OR 3.3 for mental health alterations. The OR for psychological violence plus sexual violence was 18.5. The figure for psychological violence plus sexual violence plus a history of parental violence during childhood was 26.5. Conclusions: Forty one percent of this group of women had mental health alterations. There is a strong association between these alterations, family violence and socioeconomic factors

Keywords : Anxiety disorders; Battered women; Domestic violence; Mental disorders.

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