The present study discusses if pregnancy is a risk factor for intimate partner violence using a large, representative sample containing detailed information on partner violence including physical and sexual abuse as well as perpetrator-related risk factors. Data from a representative sample of 2,225 men were analyzed. The self-reported prevalence of men's violence against their female partners was computed and compared in terms of demographic, behavioral, and relationship characteristics. The preceding-year prevalence of physical assault, sexual violence, and "any violence or injury" among the group whose partners were pregnant was 11.9%, 9.1%, and 18.8%, respectively. This is significantly higher than the nonpregnant group. Pregnancy was significantly associated with increased odds of violence, including physical assault, sexual violence, and "any violence or injury" (ORs = 2.42, 2.42, and 2.60, respectively). Having controlled for relationship characteristics including social desirability, social support, in-law conflict, dominance, and jealousy of male perpetrators, pregnancy was significantly associated with "any violence or injury." Demographic and behavioral variables accounted for pregnant women's significantly higher odds of having been abused in the year preceding the data collection. This study provides preliminary findings on the association between pregnancy and partner violence. Our findings underscore the need to screen for violence among pregnant women in clinical health care settings as well as in communities. Perpetrator-related risk factors should be included in the assessment of risk for partner violence against pregnant women. For the prevention of intimate partner violence, family-based intervention is needed to work with victims as well as perpetrators.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Applied Psychology