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An analysis of IPV among pregnant teenagers in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

J. Moraros, MD, MPH, CHES1, Yelena Bird, MD, MPH1, Larry K. Olsen, DrPH, CHES1, Eduardo Maldonado Avila, MD2, and Robert W. Buckingham, Dr PH1. (1) Department of Health Sciences, MSC 3HLS, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001, 505-646-4300, johnmoraros@yahoo.com, (2) Women's Hospital of Juarez, Mexico, Medical Director, P. Triunfo de la Repubica #3530, C.P., Juarez, 32330, Mexico

Background: Approximately 1.5 million people reside in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. The largest and fastest growing segment of its population is teenage females. Unfortunately, these teens are experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) at an ever-increasing rate.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the nature and extent of IPV against pregnant women <18 years who presented to a prenatal hospital-based clinic in Juárez.

Significance: The scarcity of scientific data about the incidence and prevalence rates of IPV among teenage pregnant women in Juárez prevents effective health care services from being offered. The data obtained from this study addresses that need.

Methods: A pretested self-report survey was administered face-to-face to 48 teenage pregnant women seeking health care services in order to determine IPV incidence and prevalence rates.

Results/Outcomes: Approximately 40% of the participants experienced some form of IPV during their pregnancies. Such sociodemographic factors as being married, low family income (p<.01), and low educational levels (p<.01) were highly correlated with increased incidence of self-reported IPV. The abused teens had higher rates of anemia and showed less maternal weight gain (p<.01) than their nonabused peers thus potentially further complicating their pregnancy.

Conclusion: IPV against teenage pregnant women in Juárez, Mexico has a significant social impact on the health care system and on society at large. This problem reflects the urgent need to develop diligent surveillance, accurate reporting systems, and public health intervention programs in order to effectively address the need for providing comprehensive prenatal care for abused teen pregnant women.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: International Reproductive Health, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Maternal Health

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