Effects of individual and proximate educational context on intimate partner violence: a population-based study of women in India

Am J Public Health. 2008 Mar;98(3):507-14. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.113738. Epub 2008 Jan 30.


Objectives: We examined the role of women's education and proximate educational context on intimate partner violence (IPV).

Methods: We examined a sample of 83627 married women aged 15 to 49 years from the 1998 to 1999 Indian National Family Health Survey. We used multilevel multiple logistic regression modeling to estimate the relative effect of women's and their husband's levels of education, spousal education differential, and community-level literacy on women's risk of recent and lifetime IPV.

Results: In adjusted models, odds of recent IPV among women without any education were 5.61 times (95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.53, 8.92) those of college-educated women, and odds among wives of uneducated men were 1.84 times (95% CI=1.44, 2.35) those of wives of college-educated men. Women with more education than their husbands were more likely than those with educational parity to report recent IPV (odds ratio [OR]=1.18; 95% CI=1.05, 1.33). The results were similar for lifetime IPV. After we controlled for individual factors, as community male and female literacy levels increased, likelihood of IPV declined.

Conclusions: Although increasing women's levels of education is crucial to reducing IPV for women, proximate educational context is also an important factor in reducing this public health burden.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • India
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Spouses*