New Study Links Domestic Violence to Disruption in Women’s Hormone Levels

A study by scientists at the University of Oregon and the Oregon Social Learning Center links domestic violence against women to a disruption in a key hormone that could be related to a wide variety of negative health effects. The study looked at daily cortisol levels in both men and women. The results showed disruptions in cortisol levels for women who were victims of domestic violence.

kimLead author Hyoun K. Kim, a research scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center, stated that “we indeed found that women’s, but not men’s, victimization was associated wuth multiple indicators of diurnal cortisol levels. Interpersonal violence is more detrimental for women than for men, and our study suggests that it might indeed be due to disruptions in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) regulatory system.”

Dr. Kim joined the faculty at the Oregon Social Learning Center in 1999. She holds a Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

The study, “Intimate Partner Violence and Diurnal Cortisol Patterns in Couples,” was published in the January 2015 issue of the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. It may be accessed here.

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