Intimate Partner Victimization Among College Students With and Without Disabilities: Prevalence of and Relationship to Emotional Well-Being

J Interpers Violence. 2016 Jan;31(1):49-80. doi: 10.1177/0886260514555126. Epub 2014 Nov 11.


Prior research indicates that both college students and individuals with disabilities are at an increased risk of experiencing intimate partner victimization (IPV). However, little is known about IPV risk and its relationship to emotional well-being among the intersection of these two populations. Utilizing a sample of approximately 20,000 college students from the American College Health Association's (ACHA) National College Health Assessment II (NCHA II), this study focuses on this overlooked intersection by examining IPV among college students with disabilities. Multivariate binary logistic regression models were used to estimate the relationship among disability, IPV, and emotional well-being. College students with disabilities were approximately twice as likely to experience IPV than their counterparts without disabilities. Students with mental disabilities and multiple disability types were found to have the greatest likelihood of experiencing IPV. Victims with disabilities were more likely than victims without disabilities to report experiencing depression symptoms, self-harm behavior, and stress. Recommendations for reducing and preventing IPV among a college student population are discussed.

Keywords: college students; disability; intimate partner victimization.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Crime Victims* / psychology
  • Crime Victims* / statistics & numerical data
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Disabled Persons* / psychology
  • Disabled Persons* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence* / psychology
  • Intimate Partner Violence* / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Students* / psychology
  • Students* / statistics & numerical data
  • Universities
  • Young Adult