Maternal Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Child Health in India: Evidence of an Association from NFHS-3

Santosh Jatrana, Deakin University Australia
Samba Siva Rao Pasupuleti, Deakin University Australia

Using data from the third National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3-2005-2006) on currently married women with at least one child and logistic regression models, this study examines the little known association between women’s exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) and child health in India. The main exposure was women’s experience of any act of physical, emotional and or sexual violence by an intimate current or former partner versus none. We considered three child health outcome measures namely, height-for age, weight-for-height and weight-for-age. Our results indicate that after adjusting for potential confounders, women’s experience of any violence and or physical violence was strongly and significantly associated with increased odds of stunting and underweight. Emotional and sexual IPV was less strongly associated with stunting and underweight. We did not find any association between any form of IPV and wasting. Our results have public health implications for improving child nutrition in developing countries including India.

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Presented in Session 236: Individual and Community-Level Causes and Consequences of Gender-Based Violence