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Maternal experience of intimate partner violence and its association with morbidity and mortality of children: Evidence from India
Authors: Pintu Paul, and Dinabandhu Mondal
Source: PLoS ONE , 15(4): e0232454; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0232454
Topic(s): Childhood mortality
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Maternal health
Country: Asia
Published: APR 2020
Abstract: OBJECTIVE:This study attempts to investigate the association between maternal exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) and morbidity and mortality of children. STUDY DESIGN:A cross-sectional study was carried out using the most recent nationally representative data of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) in India. RESULTS:The prevalence of morbidity and mortality was higher among the children whose mothers faced physical, emotional, or sexual violence perpetrated by the partner than those who did not encounter any violence. Multivariate analysis revealed that maternal exposure to physical and sexual violence significantly increased the risks of childhood diarrhea and fever; and emotional violence was associated with an increased likelihood of diarrhea, fever, and acute respiratory infection (ARI) in the past 2 weeks among under-five children. Moreover, women's experience of physical and emotional violence were associated with increased odds of infant mortality (<1 year) and under-five mortality (<5 years) in crude analysis. However, these associations were insignificant in the adjusted analysis. Similarly, we did not find any significant association between maternal exposure to IPV and child mortality (1 to < 5 years). CONCLUSION:Maternal experience of domestic violence was associated with an increased risk of childhood morbidity (diarrhea, fever and ARI). However, no significant association was found between violence against women and mortality of children. Prevention of domestic violence may help to reduce childhood illnesses. Additional efforts are needed for maternal and child healthcare programs to improve health status of women and children.