Domestic Violence and Women’s Mental Health in Rural India

Apoorva Jadhav, Emory University
Amy Winter, Emory University

This study examines the impact of experiencing verbal, physical, and/or sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) on mental health among 6303 rural married women (age 15-39) in four economically and culturally distinct areas of India: Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu. The 2002-2003 Indian National Family Health Survey-2 Follow-Up Survey data is used for analysis, and The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) is used to measure mental health status. The prevalence rate of self-reported IPV in the previous 12 months among the respondents was high with 37% reporting verbal violence, 21% reporting physical violence, and 11% reporting sexual violence. Regression models are fitted to identify associations between IPV severity and self-reported mental health symptoms. The results indicate that experiencing physical, verbal, or sexual IPV is associated with an increased risk of adverse mental health outcomes, and that women who report a greater severity of IPV also report more mental health symptoms.

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Presented in Poster Session 1