Individual and contextual determinants of domestic violence in North India

Am J Public Health. 2006 Jan;96(1):132-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.050872. Epub 2005 Nov 29.


Objectives: We examined individual- and community-level influences on domestic violence in Uttar Pradesh, North India.

Methods: Multilevel modeling was used to explore domestic violence outcomes among a sample of 4520 married men.

Results: Recent physical and sexual domestic violence was associated with the individual-level variables of childlessness, economic pressure, and intergenerational transmission of violence. A community environment of violent crime was associated with elevated risks of both physical and sexual violence. Community-level norms concerning wife beating were significantly related only to physical violence.

Conclusions: Important similarities as well as differences were evident in risk factors for physical and sexual domestic violence. Higher socioeconomic status was found to be protective against physical but not sexual violence. Our results provide additional support for the importance of contextual factors in shaping women's risks of physical and sexual violence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Social Environment*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*