Changes in intimate partner violence during pregnancy

Sandra L. Martin, April Harris-Britt, Yun Li, Kathryn E. Moracco, Lawrence L. Kupper, Jacquelyn C. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Women's experiences of partner violence, both before and during pregnancy, are described using a convenience sample of women recruited from prenatal clinics. Included were an "index group" of women who told their clinicians that they had been physically abused during pregnancy, and a "comparison group" of women who told their clinicians that they had not been physically abused during pregnancy (even though later more detailed assessment found that some of these comparison women had experienced such violence). The women averaged 27 years of age, with 83% being high school graduates, 26% being married, and 66% having had previous children. The Conflict Tactics Scales 2 assessed rates of partner violence victimization of the women and their male partners, including psychological aggression, physical assault, and sexual coercion. Injuries also were assessed. Results showed that comparison men were physically assaulted at significantly higher rates than were their female partners, both before and during pregnancy (even though these victimization rates were much lower than those seen among the index couples). Index women experienced higher rates of psychological aggression, physical assault, and sexual coercion than did their male partners, and these women were significantly more likely than their male partners to be injured. Pregnancy onset was associated with significant increases in the rates of psychological aggression among both the index and comparison couples. In addition, the index women experienced a significantly increased rate of sexual violence victimization during pregnancy. However, pregnancy was not associated with significant increases in the rates of physical assault or violence-related injuries among the index or comparison couples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-210
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2004

Keywords

  • Domestic violence
  • Physical abuse
  • Pregnancy
  • Research
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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