The Assessment of Trauma History in Women With Co-occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Disorders and a History of Interpersonal Violence

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Sexual Abuse, Traumatic Event, Mental Health Disorder, Interpersonal Violence, Trauma History

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The Women, Co-occurring Disorders, and Violence Study (WCDVS) was a large (N=2729) multisite study of the effectiveness of integrated and trauma-informed services for women with substance use and mental health disorders and a history of interpersonal violence (physical or sexual abuse). Study participants' exposure to lifetime and current traumatic events was assessed at baseline and follow-up via in-person interviews. This article describes the choice of the Life Stressor Checklist-Revised (LSC-R) to assess trauma history to meet the WCDVS's research aims and to respond to consumer input. Quantitative data address the breadth and prevalence of potentially traumatic events in the past and current lives of study participants, the formation and properties of summary measures, and test-retest reliability. Qualitative data address tolerance of the instrument by interviewers and respondents and the generalizability of quantitative findings about trauma prevalence. Finally, recommendations are offered for improvements to the WCDVS version of the LSC-R for use in future research.

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The Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, v. 32, issue 2, p. 113–127