247912 Intimate partner violence, social support, and exposure to community level crime

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wallis Adams, MPH(c) , Department of Health Sciences, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA
Background: Intimate partner violence [IPV] continues to be a pressing public health concern in virtually all communities in this country, and college students are at especially high risk. While IPV is normally addressed through an interpersonal framework, the purpose of this study is to gain a further understanding of the interplay between IPV and its social and community level context within a college population. Methods: This research analyzed findings from a cross-sectional study of a large, multicultural state university population. Bivariate and multivariate analyzes were conducted on survey responses from undergraduate and graduate students under age 30 (n=932). Results: 14.5% of those surveyed reported experiencing a verbally and/or physically abusive relationship within the past six months. Chi square analyzes revealed a significant relationship between experience of IPV and neighborhood crime (p<.01). IPV victims had lower scores on a social support scale than those who had not recently experienced abuse (p<.01). According to logistic regression analyzes, those experiencing IPV were 2.4 times more likely to have a friend or family member recently injured or killed. Conclusions: For these college students, intimate partner violence is not an isolated problem unrelated to social connections and community characteristics. While social support can be a protective factor for intimate partner violence, violence within victims' immediate social network is also common. In order to adequately address this public health concern, it is important to further clarify the relationship between community level and interpersonal level crime.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relationship between community level crime and personal experience of intimate partner violence. Assess the role of social support on intimate partner violence.

Keywords: Domestic Violence, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted extensive literature reviews on IPV in the US college population and have experience with biostatistics.
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.