Intimate partner violence associated with poor health outcomes in U.S. South Asian women

J Immigr Minor Health. 2006 Jul;8(3):251-61. doi: 10.1007/s10903-006-9330-1.


To assess the associations between Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) victimization and health outcomes of South Asian women in Greater Boston. To explore the nature of the health experiences of victimized women in this population. Cross-sectional surveys with a community-based sample of women in relationships with males (n = 208) assessed demographics, IPV history, and health. In-depth interviews were conducted with a separate sample of women with a history of IPV (n = 23). Quantitative data were assessed by logistic regression, qualitative data by a grounded theory approach. Twenty-one percent of the quantitative sample reported IPV in the current relationship. Abused women were significantly more likely than those with no history of IPV in their current relationship to report poor physical health (95% CI = 1.3-12.0), depression (95% CI = 1.8-9.3), anxiety (95% CI = 1.3-6.4), and suicidal ideation (95% CI = 1.9-25.1). Qualitative subjects described how victimization resulted in injury and chronic health concerns and how IPV-induced depression and anxiety affected their sleep, appetite, energy, and wellbeing. Experiences of IPV are related to increased poor health among South Asian women. This elevated risk demands intervention. Healthcare providers should be trained to screen and refer South Asian patients for partner violence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asia, Southeastern / ethnology
  • Asia, Western / ethnology
  • Asian / psychology*
  • Asian / statistics & numerical data
  • Battered Women / psychology*
  • Boston / epidemiology
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / ethnology*
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data
  • Treatment Outcome*
  • Women's Health / ethnology