Traumatic brain injury in intimate partner violence: A critical review of outcomes and mechanisms

Laura E. Kwako, Nancy Glass, Jacquelyn C Campbell, Kristal C. Melvin, Taura Barr, Jessica M. Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) is striking, as are its consequences to the lives of women. The IPV often includes physical assault, which can include injuries to the head and attempted strangulation injuries. Both types of injuries can result in traumatic brain injury (TBI). The TBI sustained during IPV often occurs over time, which can increase the risk for health declines and postconcussive syndrome (PCS). Current studies have identified sequelae of cognitive dysfunction, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression in women experiencing IPV, yet, most fail to determine the role of TBI in the onset and propagation of these disorders. Although imaging studies indicate functional differences in neuronal activation in IPV, they also have not considered the possibility of TBI contributing to these outcomes. This review highlights the significant gaps in current findings related to neuropsychological complications and medical and psychosocial symptoms that likely result in greater morbidity, as well as the societal costs of failing to acknowledge the association of IPV and TBI in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-126
Number of pages12
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • PTSD
  • intimate partner violence
  • neuropsychological functioning
  • postconcussive syndrome
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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