Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Observational Study
. 2016 Mar 8;16:233.
doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-2893-4.

Intimate Partner Violence Norms Cluster Within Households: An Observational Social Network Study in Rural Honduras

Affiliations
Free PMC article
Observational Study

Intimate Partner Violence Norms Cluster Within Households: An Observational Social Network Study in Rural Honduras

Holly B Shakya et al. BMC Public Health. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a complex global problem, not only because it is a human rights issue, but also because it is associated with chronic mental and physical illnesses as well as acute health outcomes related to injuries for women and their children. Attitudes, beliefs, and norms regarding IPV are significantly associated with the likelihood of both IPV experience and perpetration.

Methods: We investigated whether IPV acceptance is correlated across socially connected individuals, whether these correlations differ across types of relationships, and whether social position is associated with the likelihood of accepting IPV. We used sociocentric network data from 831 individuals in rural Honduras to assess the association of IPV acceptance between socially connected individuals across 15 different types of relationships, both within and between households. We also investigated the association between network position and IPV acceptance.

Results: We found that having a social contact that accepts IPV is strongly associated with IPV acceptance among individuals. For women the clustering of IPV acceptance was not significant in between-household relationships, but was concentrated within households. For men, however, while IPV acceptance was strongly clustered within households, men's acceptance of IPV was also correlated with people with whom they regularly converse, their mothers and their siblings, regardless of household. We also found that IPV was more likely to be accepted by less socially-central individuals, and that the correlation between a social contact's IPV acceptance was stronger on the periphery, suggesting that, as a norm, it is held on the periphery of the community.

Conclusion: Our results show that differential targeting of individuals and relationships in order to reduce the acceptability and, subsequently, the prevalence of IPV may be most effective. Because IPV norms seem to be strongly held within households, the household is probably the most logical unit to target in order to implement change. This approach would include the possible benefit of a generational effect. Finally, in social contexts in which perpetration of IPV is not socially acceptable, the most effective strategy may be to implement change not at the center but at the periphery of the community.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
A correlation plot showing the overlap between the nominations made across name generator questions, and ordered according to a hierarchical clustering algorithm. In the top left, there is a cluster of highly overlapping questions, showing that people are likely to nominate the same people as spouses, people with whom they discuss important matters, those they can trust, and those they talk to the most
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Shows one village’s network from 2 perspectives. The left panel depicts all ties from a randomly selected group of individuals. Note that IPV acceptance is clustered among socially connected individuals and that IPV is generally more accepted on the periphery of the network. The right panel depicts only within household ties from the same randomly selected group. Note the strong clustering of IPV norms at the household level
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Shows the differential correlation between egos and alter across relationship types depending upon whether or not they live in the same household
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
The dynamics around ego and alters network characteristics provide possible clues as to norms. Highly connected egos are less likely to accept IPV (left panel). When alters are poorly connected in the community, the correlation between ego’s and alter’s IPV acceptance is higher (right panel)

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 10 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Campbell JC. Health consequences of intimate partner violence. Lancet. 2002;359(9314):1331–6. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(02)08336-8. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Ellsberg M, Jansen HA, Heise L, Watts CH, Garcia-Moreno C. Intimate partner violence and women’s physical and mental health in the WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence: an observational study. Lancet. 2008;371(9619):1165–72. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60522-X. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Silverman JG, Gupta J, Decker MR, Kapur N, Raj A. Intimate partner violence and unwanted pregnancy, miscarriage, induced abortion, and stillbirth among a national sample of Bangladeshi women. BJOG. 2007;114(10):1246–52. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2007.01481.x. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Alio AP, Nana PN, Salihu HM. Spousal violence and potentially preventable single and recurrent spontaneous fetal loss in an African setting: cross-sectional study. Lancet. 2009;373(9660):318–24. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60096-9. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Koenig MA, Stephenson R, Acharya R, Barrick L, Ahmed S, Hindin M. Domestic violence and early childhood mortality in rural India: evidence from prospective data. Int J Epidemiol. 2010;39(3):825–33. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyq066. - DOI - PMC - PubMed

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback