Prevalence of Spouse Abuse, and Evaluation of Mental Health Status in Female Victims of Spousal Violence in Tehran


Shahrbanou Ghahari 1 , * , Jafar Bolhari 2 , Mohammad Kazem Atef Vahid 2 , Hamidreza Ahmadkhaniha 2 , Leila Panaghi 3 , Hamid Yousefi 4

1 Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Iran

2 Department of Psychiatry, Tehran Institute of Psychiatry, Tehran, Iran

3 Family research center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Social Psychiatry, Tehran Institute of Psychiatry, Tehran, Iran

How to Cite: Ghahari S, Bolhari J, Atef Vahid M K, Ahmadkhaniha H, Panaghi L, et al. Prevalence of Spouse Abuse, and Evaluation of Mental Health Status in Female Victims of Spousal Violence in Tehran, Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2009 ; 3(1):50-6.


Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: 3 (1); 50-6
Published Online: June 30, 2009
Article Type: Original Article
Received: September 25, 2008
Accepted: March 12, 2009


Objective: Spouse abuse is a worldwide health concern with prevalent psychiatric and medical consequences in victims. The present study was conducted to determine the prevalence of spouse abuse among a group of women living in Tehran and survey their mental health status.

Methods: Totally, 1186 married women were selected through a randomized systematic sampling from 22 districts of Tehran. Initial data were obtained by demographic questionnaire, Spouse Abuse Questionnaire (SAQ) and General Health Questionnaire - 28 (GHQ-28). Data were analyzed using Student's unpaired t-test or χ 2 test, when appropriate.

Results: Of 1186 women, 980 (82.6%) were physically and sexually abused, however, 818 (68.9%) were physically and emotionally and 835 (70.5%) were sexually and emotionally abused by their husbands. Spouse abused women, especially emotionally and physically abused clients had higher GHQ-28 scores in all the components of the test while their differences with non-abused women were statistically significant. This is interpreted as poor mental health status among these victims.

Conclusion: Our results revealed the high prevalence of maltreatment against women living in Tehran. Meanwhile, our victims were more commonly suffered from anxiety and depressive disorders and achieved poor mental health status and low social performance.


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