Intimate partner violence among African American and African Caribbean women: Prevalence, risk factors, and the influence of cultural attitudes

Jamila K. Stockman, Marguerite B. Lucea, Richelle Bolyard, Desiree Bertand, Gloria B. Callwood, Phyllis W. Sharps, Doris W. Campbell, Jacquelyn C. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background:Women of African descent are disproportionately affected by intimate partner abuse; yet, limited data exist on whether the prevalence varies for women of African descent in the United States and those in the US territories. Objective: In this multisite study, we estimated lifetime and 2-year prevalence of physical, sexual, and psychological intimate partner abuse (IPA) among 1,545 women of African descent in the United States and US Virgin Islands (USVI). We also examined how cultural tolerance of physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) influences abuse. Design: Between 2009 and 2011, we recruited African American and African Caribbean women aged 18-55 from health clinics in Baltimore, MD, and St. Thomas and St. Croix, USVI, into a comparative case-control study. Screened and enrolled women completed an audio computer-assisted self-interview. Screening-based prevalence of IPA and IPV were stratified by study site and associations between tolerance of IPV and abuse experiences were examined by multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results: Most of the 1,545 screened women were young, of low-income, and in a current intimate relationship. Lifetime prevalence of IPAwas 45% in St. Thomas, 38% in St. Croix, and 37% in Baltimore. Lifetime prevalence of IPVwas 38% in St. Thomas, 28% in St.Croix, and 30% in Baltimore. Past 2-year prevalence of IPVwas 32% in St. Thomas, 22% in St.Croix, and 26% in Baltimore. Risk and protective factors for IPV varied by site.Community and personal acceptance of IPV were independently associated with lifetime IPA in Baltimore and St. Thomas. Conclusions: Variance across sites for risk and protective factors emphasizes cultural considerations in subpopulations of women of African descent when addressing IPA and IPV in given settings. Individual-based interventions should be coupled with community/societal interventions to shape attitudes about use of violence in relationships and to promote healthy relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number24725
JournalGlobal health action
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • African American
  • African Caribbean
  • Cultural attitudes
  • Intimate partner abuse
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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