204947 An explanation of the relationship between vulnerable populations' social capital networks and intimate partner violence: Honing our methodological understanding

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Joshua George Behr, PhD , Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC), Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
This research provides an explanation for intimate partner violence (IPV) among residents of a major urban region by examining the complexity of individual social networks and social capital. Objective: The research accomplishes two objectives, one methodological and the other substantive. First, through the development of unique weighted scales, the author introduces an innovative, valid measure of social capital that taps four dimensions of social-networks: family, friends, socio-cultural, and neighborhood. Second, the author illustrates both theoretically and empirically the link between social capital and IPV. Methods: Using a stratified, random sampling methodology, the author interviews over 1,600 residents in a major urban region. In addition to the construction of social capital scales, data are gathered along several dimensions of health (chronic disease and conditions), health behaviors, substance abuse, access to health-related resources and health services, mental health treatment, and health literacy. Results: The results confirm significant relationships among the four dimensions of social networks. Noted also are the differences among groups controlling for socio-demographic characteristics; detailed are the empirically significant differences in the structure of social networks and the disparities in IPV among the underserved and vulnerable population segments. Conclusion: This research has made a contribution both methodologically (e.g., validity of social network scales) and substantively (honing understanding of segments ripe for intervention). Establishing these empirical connections while parsing socio-demographic variables has contributed to our theoretical understanding of the complexity inherent in predicting IPV and, thus, may allow practitioners to better target on-going interventions.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the theoretical linkage between social capital and health in general and intimate partner violence specifically; 2. Identify four dimensions of social networks encompassing the construct social capital; 3. Assess the purported validity of the innovative social network scales; 4. Evaluate the relative influence purposively selected socio-demographic variables have on an explanation for intimate partner violence. 5. Identify the strength of the associations between each social network dimension and intimate partner violence; 6. Differentiate the disparate impact of social networks among underserved and vulnerable populations.

Keywords: Sexual Assault, Violence Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the project PI. The research was monitored by the IRB at Old Dominion University. I am employed as a research professor within a research center at a Carnegie Extensive University. I hold a PhD from an accredited university. I have consulted/produced reports for local health officials/health departments. I have conducted this extensive community health survey and assessments in the region. I am the published author of one book and several peer reviewed journals articles.
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.