Background: Reports on prevalence estimates and risk factors of intimate partner violence (IPV) are limited in that they (1) focus on specific subgroup populations that are not representative of all women or (2) involve long questionnaires that are not useful as surveillance tools.
Objectives: To report prevalence estimates and identify demographic and lifestyle factors associated with IPV in a large population-based sample of U.S. women using surveillance data.
Methods: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data from eight U.S. states were analyzed individually and as a pooled sample (N=18,415). Multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine associations between IPV and the factors of interest.
Results: Factors consistently associated with IPV across the majority of states and in the pooled analysis included young age (pooled adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 3.07), single marital status (pooled aOR, 2.89), divorced/separated marital status (pooled aOR, 4.67), and annual household income <$25,000 (pooled aOR, 1.89). In addition, lack of health insurance, receipt of Medicaid, cigarette smoking, presence of children in the home, self-reported fair/poor health, and frequent mental distress were associated with IPV after adjustment for covariates.
Conclusions: This study provides population-based estimates of IPV prevalence and factors associated with IPV using surveillance data. By pooling BRFSS data from individual states, the resulting large sample has adequate power to detect significant associations and has increased precision in the estimates of IPV risk. In addition, this study identifies high-risk populations to target for education and intervention programs and demonstrates the need for improved IPV surveillance.