Identifying crime victims vulnerable to persistent depressive symptoms: Results from a secondary analysis
Lamothe J, Fortin C, Fortin M, Lapierre S, Guay S. (2019). Identifying crime victims vulnerable to persistent depressive symptoms: Results from a secondary analysis. Journal of affective disorders, 255, 23-26.
Background: Although depression has been extensively studied in relations to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Childhood Maltreatment (CM), we still know little about its relationship with other types of violent crimes (e.g., physical assault, mugging) or how symptoms evolve over time.
Methods: Using a clinical sample of 132 crime victims, this study sought to map out group-based symptoms trajectories using Latent Growth Curve Analysis (LCGA) over the course of one year.
Results: Less than one month after having been assaulted, 30% of the sample reached the severe depression threshold. Symptoms tended to improve over time, with only 8% of participants reporting severe depression one year later. Analyses indicate the presence of three distinct profiles: one marked by severe and stable symptomatology over time (17%), the second characterized by a moderate level of symptoms that decreases exponentially over time (57%) and a third one describing a pattern of minimal depression throughout the year. People who suffered from persistent depression reported significantly lower levels of social support, scored higher on the ASDI and were also more likely to report some type of maltreatment in childhood but not IPV in adulthood, and appeared non-responsive to treatment.
Limitations: Results must be nuanced by the size (i.e., LCGA requirements and attrition) and nature of the sample (i.e., help-seeking victims only).
Conclusions: Although violence is a risk factor for depression, some individuals, especially those with a history of CM, appear to be more vulnerable to severe, persistent and treatment-resistant depression than others.