Burden of maternal exposure to Intimate Partner Violence on their under-five child health

Amany Refaat, Walden University


Millennium development Goal 4 (MDG4) calls for improving child health and reducing under-five child mortality. This study aims to measure if exposure of mothers to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) would influence their under-five child health.

Methodology: Data analyzed from Demographic & Health Survey of 20 countries all used the domestic violence module for mothers with at least one child under age of five. Under-five child health was measured by having optimum nutrition, absence of recent infections and measles vaccination. Burden of exposure to IPV was estimated through logistic regression analysis after controlling for women extreme poverty (MDG1), education (MDG2) and empowerment (MDG3) levels in addition to the socio-demographic characteristics of women and number of children under five. Results: Responses from 74,632 women showed that IPV was among 38% of them. Only 37% of mothers had a healthy child that was lowered to 31% among those exposed to IPV (OR 0.69; 95%CI: 0.67-0.71). Women exposed to IPV had lower levels of healthy child than unexposed mothers were with the same Poverty (24% Vs 29%), Education (38% Vs 48%), and Empowerment (39%Vs 47%). Running multiple regression analysis showed that exposure to IPV retained its statistically significant decreasing effect on having a healthy child after controlling for other variables. Conclusion & recommendations: Maternal exposure to IPV had a negative effect on their under-five child health. Programs working on achieving MDG4 of reducing under-five child mortality, should take in consideration how to support and collaborate programs protecting women from IPV