202885 Association between intimate partner violence and early marriage in India

Monday, November 9, 2009

Erin E. Pearson , SPH - Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Ilene S. Speizer, PhD, MHS , SPH - Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a violation of women's rights that negatively affects individual and community health. Early marriage is also associated with poor reproductive and child health outcomes due to early and rapid childbearing, reduced educational opportunities, and age and power disparities within union. Policies exist to prevent early marriage in India; however a recent nationally representative survey demonstrates that 20% of India's girls are still married under the age of fifteen. This study uses the 2005-2006 India National Family Health Survey to explore the relationship between IPV and early marriage in India and specifically in Bihar and Rajasthan states. In India, 37% of women ever in union ever experienced IPV; in Bihar and Rajasthan IPV is the most common at 59% and 46%, respectively. The prevalence of early marriage is also high in Bihar and Rajasthan where 30% and 25% of women (age 15-49) were married under age fifteen, respectively, compared to 21% nationwide. Multivariate analyses controlling for individual characteristics, attitudes toward wife beating, witnessing of violence in the natal home, and partner characteristics demonstrate that women who were married before age fifteen are more likely to have ever experienced IPV and to have experienced IPV in the last twelve months than all others. The findings are similar when stratified by state and current age (<25 and 25+). To reduce IPV and its accompanying negative health consequences, targeted efforts must be made to decrease the proportion of India's girls who are married under the legal age of eighteen.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, the participant will be able to: Identify the primary determinants of intimate partner violence in India, and Discuss the relationship between intimate partner violence and early marriage in India.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have studied intimate partner violence and adolescent health for many years. I am a public health demographer, and I am currently on faculty at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Maternal and Child Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.