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Intimate partner violence and death among infants and children in India
Authors: Ackerson LK ; Subramanian SV
Source: Pediatrics, 124(5): e878-89
Topic(s): Childhood mortality
Domestic violence
Infant mortality
Country: Asia
Published: OCT 2009
Abstract: Objective: The goal was to test the association between maternal intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization and child death. Methods: Information was collected regarding 39096 children <60 months of age in the nationally representative 2005-2006 National Family Health Survey of India. The exposures were maternal reports of physical, sexual, psychological, and any IPV. Outcomes included infant (0 to <12 months), older child (12 to <60 months), and any child (0 to <60 months) deaths. Results: Maternal experience of physical IPV was associated with increased mortality rates among all children (risk ratio [RR]: 1.21 [95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.13-1.30]), infants (RR: 1.24 [95% CI: 1.01-1.53]), and older children (RR: 1.25 [95% CI: 1.00-1.56]). Sexual and psychological IPV were less strongly associated with child death. The associations between maternal IPV and death did not differ according to the child's gender. Conclusion: The robust association between exposure to household IPV and infant and child death could be attributable to the mother's inability to care for her child, psychological stress associated with witnessing violence, and the use of maternal violence victimization as a proxy for child violence victimization.