History of abuse and psychological distress symptoms among female sex workers in two Mexico-U.S. border cities

Monica D. Ulibarri, Shirley J. Semple, Swati Rao, Steffanie A. Strathdee, Miguel A. Fraga-Vallejo, Jesus Bucardo, Adela De La Torre, Juan Salázar-Reyna, Prisci Orozovich, Hugo S. Staines-Orozco, Hortensia Amaro, Carlos Magis-Rodríguez, Thomas L. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined histories of past emotional, physical, and sexual abuse as correlates of current psychological distress using data from 916 female sex workers (FSWs) who were enrolled in a safer-sex behavioral intervention in Tijuana and Ciudad (Cd.) Juarez, Mexico. We hypothesized that histories of abuse would be associated with higher symptom levels of depression and somatization and that social support would moderate the relationship. Nonparametric correlations and a series of hierarchical regression analyses revealed that all forms of past abuse predicted higher levels of depressive symptoms, and physical and sexual abuse were significantly associated with higher levels of somatic symptoms. Social support was also significantly associated with fewer symptoms of distress; however, it was not shown to moderate the relationship between abuse history and distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-413
Number of pages15
JournalViolence and Victims
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 9 2009

Keywords

  • Female sex workers
  • Hispanic women
  • History of abuse
  • Psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law

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    Ulibarri, M. D., Semple, S. J., Rao, S., Strathdee, S. A., Fraga-Vallejo, M. A., Bucardo, J., De La Torre, A., Salázar-Reyna, J., Orozovich, P., Staines-Orozco, H. S., Amaro, H., Magis-Rodríguez, C., & Patterson, T. L. (2009). History of abuse and psychological distress symptoms among female sex workers in two Mexico-U.S. border cities. Violence and Victims, 24(3), 399-413. https://doi.org/10.1891/0886-6708.24.3.399