Prevalence and trajectories of intimate partner violence among South African women during pregnancy and the postpartum period Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
Creator
  • Groves, Allison K.
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior
Abstract
  • Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health problem in South Africa. However, there has been limited research on IPV during pregnancy and the postpartum period, despite significant negative consequences. A better understanding of the prevalence and trajectories of IPV for women in South Africa during pregnancy and the postpartum period will inform IPV prevention interventions. Study 1 used data from the South Africa HIV antenatal post-test support study (SAHAPS) to describe the prevalence and rates of physical, sexual and psychological IPV at pregnancy, at four months postpartum and at nine months postpartum. More than 1 in 5 women experienced some form of IPV at least once during pregnancy. Psychological IPV was the most common type of IPV experienced in both pregnancy and the postpartum period. Study 2 used SAHAPS data to address two aims. First, random coefficients growth curve modeling was used to describe mean trajectories of physical and psychological IPV as well as individual variability around the mean during pregnancy and the postpartum period. This method was also used to examine whether relationship characteristics (relationship power, relationship stress and partner social support) and women's history of pre-pregnancy IPV would act together to increase risk for IPV during pregnancy and the postpartum period. The mean trajectory for both types of IPV was flat which means that, on average, there was not significant change in levels of IPV over pregnancy and the postpartum period. However, there was significant individual variability in trajectories of IPV over the study period. The association between pre-pregnancy IPV and IPV during pregnancy and the postpartum period was buffered by higher relationship power. Additionally, higher relationship stress increased women's risk of psychological IPV during pregnancy and the postpartum period, regardless of pre-pregnancy IPV. Partner social support did not change women's risk of IPV. The high prevalence of IPV during pregnancy and the postpartum period highlight the need for screening and intervention during and following pregnancy. While screening alone is not efficacious at reducing IPV, screening in conjunction with an intervention may reduce risk of IPV during this time.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Maman, Suzanne
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2013
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