Posttraumatic stress disorder in urban women

Purpose of review To provide an update of recent or relevant studies on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in urban women, with a special focus on biopsychosocial risk factors. Recent findings Urbanization itself can increase the risk for PTSD due to the concentration of poverty, substance use and crime. Women are usually at a greater social and economic disadvantage and are victims of collective and domestic violence more often than men. Accordingly, urban women are more exposed to traumatic events that increase the prevalence of PTSD than rural women and both rural and urban men, especially those with lack of social and family protection and support (including refugees) and/or with a history of interpersonal violence. This type of events has sensitizing effects on the PTSD response to other traumatic experiences even if they are of a lesser magnitude, which may reflect women's biological susceptibility to PTSD, and could explain their higher risk of developing chronic PTSD. Summary A complex interaction of biopsychological factors may contribute to the ultra-high-risk for PTSD among urban women. The socially modifiable factors involved highlight the importance of strategies focused on women's social development that could reduce their social suffering and its negative mental health outcomes.
Source: Current Opinion in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Tags: THE IMPACT OF URBANISATION ON MENTAL HEALTH: Edited by Jair Mari Source Type: research

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