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Secondary Data Analysis on the Etiology, Course and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Extremely Poor Women

NCJ Number
Date Published
137 pages
This report presents secondary data analysis on the etiology, course, and consequences of intimate partner violence against extremely poor women.
The study attempts to increase understanding of childhood antecedents to adult partner violence, the impact of partner violence on the use of addictive substances, and the capacity to maintain work among impoverished single mothers. It analyzes a comprehensive, longitudinal data set that includes in-depth information on homeless and poor housed single female parents, most on public welfare. Poor women who experienced childhood sexual abuse were significantly more likely to experience intimate partner violence as adults. Other childhood factors associated with increased risk of adult partner violence include: parental fighting, having a mother who was a victim of abuse/battering, being placed in foster care, having a primary male caretaker with substance abuse problems, and having a primary female caretaker with mental health problems. Intimate partner violence was predictive of subsequent drug, but not alcohol, use in poor women. Women who had experienced recent intimate partner violence had less than one-third the odds of maintaining work over time, i.e., for at least 30 hours per week for 6 months or more. Findings suggest the importance of non-professional supports, such as family, friends, and neighbors, in protecting women from involvement with abusive partners. They also demonstrate the importance of job training placement services to women's capacity to maintain work over time, and the importance of developing job-related supports for welfare-to-work efforts that are sensitive to women's psychosocial needs, especially as they relate to mental health and violence. References, tables, appendix

Date Published: January 1, 2001