Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Program

Psychology

Date of Award

5-2014

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Andrea Clements

Committee Members

Beth Bailey, William Dalton, Brooke Foulk, Matthew McBee

Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy can lead to a myriad of poor physical and psychological outcomes for both mother and child. There is a paucity of research examining IPV risk factors for rural pregnant women and on information regarding the course of the specific types of IPV throughout pregnancy. The current project was an investigation of the prevalence of IPV and IPV risk factors for different types of IPV in an Appalachian pregnant sample that contained women from both rural and nonrural locations (Study 1), and was an examination of the occurrence of any IPV and the different types of IPV throughout the course of pregnancy (Study 2). Study 1 included 1,063 pregnant women participating in the Tennessee Intervention for Pregnant Smokers (TIPS) research project. IPV prevalence rates during pregnancy, measured using a modified HITS IPV screen, were approximately 26% for psychological violence, 2% for physical violence, and 1% for sexual violence. Chi-squared analysis indicated that rural pregnant women were not significantly more likely to experience any of the types of IPV compared to nonrural pregnant women. Additionally, logistic regression analysis supported previous literature findings that pregnant women who are unmarried, younger, have an unplanned pregnancy, have high levels of stress, and have low levels of social support are at a greater risk of experiencing any type of IPV during pregnancy compared to pregnant women not possessing those risk factors. However, rural status was not a significant predictor or modifier of IPV. Study 2 participants included a subsample of 337 pregnant women who indicated they had experienced IPV at any time during the course of their pregnancy. Generalized estimating equation logistic models indicated that women who experienced IPV at some point during pregnancy were more likely to experience IPV during the third trimester. Both studies support the importance of screening for specific types of IPV throughout pregnancy. Information obtained from the current research is valuable to health care providers because it is important they are aware of IPV risk factors and that different types of IPV, especially psychological IPV, can occur at any time during pregnancy.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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