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Social contexts (neighborhood and family) and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) among low-income pregnant women: Multilevel analysis

Qing Li, MD, MM1, Russell Kirby, PhD1, Robert Sigler, PhD2, and Sean-Shong Hwang, PhD3. (1) Maternal and Child Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1324 11th AVE S A5, Birmingham, AL 35205, 205-9336695, qing@uab.edu, (2) Department of Criminal Justice, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, P. O. Box 870320, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0320, (3) Department of Sociology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 239 C Ullman Building, Birmingham, AL 35294-3350

Objectives: Intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy is a serious public health issue, and warrants special attention on assessing neighborhood and family contexts, which might provide rich targets for health promotion intervention. Neighborhoods may experience higher IPV rates because of contextual or compositional reasons. Recent contextual studies on IPV have focused on individual characteristics of victims and all women rather than pregnant women; only some used multilevel analysis, were small in size, and relied on police reports or national surveys.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study linking: 1) 114 census tracts from the 2000 Census and local Sheriff and Police 1997-2001 crime reports; and 2) 2,930 pregnant women and families based on surveys from the 1997-2001 Rural Perinatal Emphasis Research Center project at UAB. We investigated the effects of neighborhood (e.g. concentrated disadvantage, stability and crime), family (e.g. partner relationship, family stress and resources), and individual characteristics on IPV in a multilevel analysis.

Results: This sample was mainly African Americans (86%), and used Medicaid (87%). Neighborhood stability influenced likelihood of IPV independent of personal or family characteristics (p<0.05), and family and individual-level characteristics including use of social welfare, women doing all the housework, women's age at first vaginal sex, mastery and esteem were also associated with IPV (p<0.05).

Conclusions: The study: 1) reflects both neighborhood contextual and individual compositional effects on IPV in a sample of low-income, pregnant women in the Southeast; and 2) provides results useful in the development social policies and health promotion interventions to reduce IPV.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Violence, Pregnancy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

MCH Student Papers Session

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA