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Pregnancy and Violence Against Women: An Analysis of Longitudinal Data

NCJ Number
Journal of Interpersonal Violence Volume: 16 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2001 Pages: 712-733
Date Published
July 2001
22 pages

This study used data from waves one and two of the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) to examine any link between pregnancy and four patterns of violence: no violence, persistent violence, violence cessation, and violence initiation.


The study sample consisted of 3,500 couples who were either married or cohabiting during the first wave of the study and who were still with the same partner during the second wave 5 years later. The first wave of the NSFH, which was conducted in 1988, involved a cross-sectional sample of households and an oversampling of Blacks, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, single-parent families, families with stepchildren, cohabiting couples, and recently married people. Information was obtained on the respondent's family living arrangements in childhood, marital and cohabiting experiences, education, fertility, alcohol use, employment histories, kin contact, and economic and psychological well-being. Five years after the initial interview, the sample from the first wave was reinterviewed. This involved face-to-face interviews and a personal interview with the current spouse or partner. Violent behavior, as measured in the survey, consisted of hitting or throwing things and/or physical arguments by the male partner against the female partner. Based on this information, respondents were classified as showing one of the four patterns of violent behavior. Multinomial logistic regression with the STATA statistical package was used as the multivariate data analysis technique. The findings indicate that first pregnancy and an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy was significantly associated with male partner violence against the female partner. 5 tables and 43 references

Date Published: July 1, 2001