Background and objectives: Previous research has demonstrated associations between maternal experience of intimate partner violence (IPV) and a range of adverse outcomes among women and their young children. However, few studies have examined the associations between maternal experience of IPV and early child development (ECD) outcomes in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Our objectives in this study were to examine the association between IPV victimization and ECD and assess whether the association was mediated by maternal and paternal stimulation.
Methods: We combined cross-sectional data from the Demographic and Health Surveys for 15 202 households representing mothers and fathers of children aged 36 to 59 months in 11 LMIC. We used multivariable linear regression models to estimate the association between IPV victimization in the year preceding the survey and ECD, which we measured using the Early Child Development Index. We used path analysis to determine if the association between IPV victimization and ECD was mediated through maternal and paternal stimulation.
Results: After adjusting for sociodemographic variables, IPV victimization was negatively associated with ECD (β = -.11; 95% confidence interval = -.15 to -.07). Path analysis indicated that the direct association between IPV victimization and ECD was partially and independently mediated through maternal and paternal stimulation.
Conclusions: Interventions that include components to prevent IPV may be effective for improving ECD in LMIC.
Copyright © 2020 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.