242458 Influence of social norms on IPV and reproductive agency

Monday, October 31, 2011: 12:30 PM

Jennifer McCleary-Sills, PhD, MPH , Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Washington, DC
Background: Numerous individual and interpersonal variables increase women's risk of intimate partner violence (IPV). Gendered social norms in patriarchal cultures keep women in disempowered positions that increase this risk and their odds of having limited reproductive agency.

Objective: Framed by socio-ecological theory, this study aimed to test the hypothesis that experiencing IPV increases women's risk of 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: Multi-level logistic regression was conducted on a sample of 3,444 Jordanian women to assess the association of exposure to IPV with each of these reproductive health outcomes within the context of communities' normative environment.

Results: Bivariate analyses indicated that a community's mean level of empowerment significantly predicts individual women's risk of experiencing IPV and the RH outcomes of interest. IPV was associated with increased odds of unintended pregnancy in two-level models accounting for individual and community sociodemographic and empowerment variables (OR 1.46, p=0.011). Similar multilevel models showed that recent IPV is associated with increased odds of unmet need for FP (OR 1.69, p=0.026). Contrary to the research hypothesis, a multilevel model controlling for individual and community-level demographics and empowerment showed that recent IPV was associated with increased odds of FP use (OR 1.31, p=0.101).

Conclusions: This research reveals important social determinants influencing Jordanian women's reproductive agency and increasing their risk for IPV, which is a strong independent predictor of unintended pregnancy and unmet need for family planning.

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

Learning Objectives:
-Identify important community-level sources of influence on Jordanian women’s risk of 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 presented here, which were performed as part of my doctoral research. This work was completed as independent research for my dissertation, with support from my committee at Johns 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.