Intimate Partner Violence Related Traumatic Brain Injury

The Valera Lab uses MRI in conjunction with measures of cognitive functioning to assess the effects of physical abuse resulting in traumatic brain injury (TBI) in women sustaining intimate partner-violence (IPV). IPV-related TBI has rarely been studied. Nonetheless, in a previous report, we showed that approximately 75% of a sample of 99 women who had experienced IPV sustained at least one partner-related TBI and 50% sustained multiple partner-related TBIs. Additionally, brain injury severity was negatively related to memory, learning, and cognitive flexibility.  This work confirmed the critical need for additional research in this area. In our current work, we are using a range of methodologies including neuroimaging, neuropsychological assessment, and interviews to characterize women’s partner-related TBI history and its relationship to neural, cognitive, and psychological functioning.