PTSD as a predictor of treatment engagement and recidivism in partner abusive men.

Objective: Past research has linked posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms to increased risk for intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration. However, little is known about the impact that PTSD may have on treatment engagement or violence recidivism following treatment for IPV. The current study examined whether PTSD predicts treatment engagement and criminal recidivism in a 20-session, community-based, cognitive–behavioral abuse intervention program. Method: Participants (N = 293) completed assessments of PTSD symptoms, depression, drug use, and alcohol problems during agency intake. These variables were examined as predictors of group treatment engagement (session attendance, working alliance, cognitive–behavioral therapy homework compliance, group cohesion, and task orientation) and criminal recidivism during the 2 years after scheduled completion of treatment. Results: Individuals with higher levels of PTSD symptoms at pretreatment had lower homework compliance during treatment. Further, individuals with probable PTSD reported lower task orientation and group cohesion later in treatment. Individuals with a probable PTSD diagnosis at pretreatment had 4 times higher odds of general violence recidivism than those without a probable PTSD diagnosis, and this association remained significant when controlling for substance use and depression. In addition, participants with probable PTSD were more likely to have intimate partner abuse recidivism compared with those without (adjusted odds ratio = 2.5), although this effect was not statistically significant. Conclusions: Trauma symptoms affect violence cessation in IPV treatment, further highlighting the need to address unique clinical issues and underlying mechanisms associated with traumatic stress symptoms in treatments for this population. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)