242448 Role of Empowerment in IPV Exposure and Reproductive Agency

Monday, October 31, 2011

Jennifer McCleary-Sills, MPH, PhD(c) , Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Washington, DC
Background: Exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) has been linked with increased reproductive health risks for women. However, the dynamics of how IPV affects and limits reproductive agency are less clear.

Objective: Using an empowerment framework, this study aimed to test the hypothesis that IPV is a risk factor for compromised reproductive agency, as evidenced by increased odds of unintended pregnancy, unmet need for family planning (FP), and low levels of current FP use.

Methods: Logistic regression analyses were conducted on a sample of 3,444 ever-married Jordanian women to assess the association of exposure to IPV with the three reproductive health outcomes.

Results: Bivariate analyses indicated that a woman's level of empowerment is a significant predictor of her exposure to IPV and the outcomes of interest. Experience of IPV was associated with increased odds of unintended pregnancy (OR 1.39, p=0.007). This association remained significant after controlling for key sociodemographic and empowerment variables (OR 1.39, p=0.027). While tending to be positive, results of bivariate analyses were not significant at the 0.05 level for current use of FP (OR 1.08, p=0.064) or unmet need (OR 1.47, p=0.074). In multivariate analysis controlling for demographics and empowerment, recent IPV was associated with increased odds of FP use (OR 1.36, p=0.049) and unmet need (OR 1.43, p=0.098).

Conclusions: This research provides insight into some of the mechanisms by which low levels of empowerment and violence affect Jordanian women's reproductive agency, and discusses the implications for research and programming to improve their health and wellbeing.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
-identify important individual and interpersonal measures of empowerment that increase the risk of Jordanian women for experiencing IPV and low reproductive agency; -compare the strength of the evidence supporting the hypothesis that IPV increases the odds of low reproductive agency for Jordanian women; -explain the implications that these findings have in the Jordanian socio-cultural context.

Keywords: Reproductive Planning, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the sole investigator for the analyses that will be presented, which were part of my dissertation. This is original independent research that I conducted with support of my committee at Hopkins.
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.