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Inter-Linkages between Spousal Violence and Nutritional Status of Children: A Comparative Study of North and South Indian States
Authors: Atreyee Sinha, and Aparajita Chattopadhyay
Source: Sociology and Criminology, 5(2): 171; DOI: 10.4172/2375-4435.1000171
Topic(s): Child health
Domestic violence
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Country: Asia
Published: SEP 2017
Abstract: In the context of higher rates of child malnutrition and widespread occurrence of spousal violence in India, the present study aimed to explore whether maternal experience of spousal violence have any association with nutritional status of their children using data on selected North and South Indian states from the National Family Health Survey (2005-2006). Our findings from bi-variate and multivariate analysis established spousal violence, which indicates the position of women within family, as a significant factor determining child nutritional status in both regions. Children whose mothers had experienced any form of physical/sexual violence were significantly more likely to be underweight compared to non-abused women. Higher educational attainment among mothers significantly reduced the likelihood of under nutrition among their children. On the other hand, higher body mass index which reflects better health status of mothers also had a significant effect in reducing the chances of malnutrition among children. Thus, the study provided adequate evidences to establish the fact that health and social status of women are critical in determining nutritional status among children. Elevating women’s power relative to men’s is strongly recommended to reduce malnourishment among children. Integration of violence screening and counselling with MCH programmes could be helpful in addressing the specific needs of women and children and provide essential support. Keywords: Spousal violence; Nutritional status; Underweight; Regions; India