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From past to present: children’s exposure of intimate partner violence and subsequent experience of IPV in adulthood among women

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The objective of this research is to analyse the prevalence of physical intimate partner violence (IPV) in ten developing countries in four regions as identified by the Demographics and Health Survey (DHS): Sub-Saharan Africa with Mali and Nigeria; North Africa/West Asia with Egypt and Jordan; South and Southeast Asia with Cambodia, Pakistan and the Philippines; and Latin America and the Caribbean with Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Peru. These countries are all tested with one primary research question: whether witnessing physical IPV in family-of-origin is associated with women’s experience of physical IPV in adulthood. Past research has shown reason to believe witnessing parental violence is a significant risk factor in IPV in many nations, but the influence of IPV in these developing countries has not been examined.

The results indicate that having witnessed physical IPV in one’s family-of-origin significantly increases the likelihood of experiencing later physical abuse, for respondents in all countries. By controlling for other factors, this finding provides robust support for the intergenerational transmission of violence theory, which explains the link between interparental aggression and physical IPV in subsequent relationships as a result of learned models of behaviour observed in childhood. Implications of this research for developing countries are also discussed.
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Keywords: demographic and health survey; developing countries; intergenerational transmission of violence theory; intimate partner violence; witnessing IPV

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Hartwick College, USA

Publication date: June 2020

This article was made available online on June 1, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "From past to present: children’s exposure of intimate partner violence and subsequent experience of IPV in adulthood among women".

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Gender-Based Violence (JGBV), is the first international journal based in Europe to show case the work of scholars across disciplinary and topic boundaries, and from a range of methodologies.

    The journal acknowledges both the breadth of gender-based violence (GBV) and its links to gendered inequalities. It aims to continue to document the voices and experiences of victims and survivors of GBV, to publish work regarding those who perpetrate GBV and of the varied and complex social structures, inequalities and gender norms through which GBV is produced and sustained. The journal recognises the intersection of gender with other identities and power relations, such as ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, faith, disability and economic status.

    JGBV will publish high quality papers that contribute to understanding of GBV, policy, and/or activism, on sexual violence, domestic abuse, ‘honour’-based violence, prostitution, trafficking and/or reproductive violence and abuse in a wide range of intimate, familial, community and societal contexts.

    The editors invite interest from scholars working across the social sciences and related fields including social policy, sociology, politics, criminology, law, social psychology, development and economics, as well as disciplines allied to medicine, health and wellbeing.

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