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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002 Apr;156(4):325-30.

Prevalence and patterns of intimate partner violence among adolescent mothers during the postpartum period.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Section of Adolescent and Sports Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, 6621 Fannin St, CC610.01, Houston, TX 77030-2399, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine prevalence, frequency, severity, and patterns of intimate partner violence (IPV) during the first 24 months' post partum within a multiethnic cohort of adolescents.

DESIGN:

A prospective study of adolescent girls followed up for 24 months into the postpartum period. Follow-up surveys were completed at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months' post partum. Overall, 74% completed at least 4 of the 5 follow-up surveys.

SETTING:

Postpartum unit at a university teaching hospital in Galveston, Tex.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 570 adolescents (18 years or younger; 219 Mexican Americans, 182 African Americans, and 169 European Americans) completed face-to-face interviews within 48 hours of delivery and returned at least 4 of 5 follow-up surveys.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Prevalence of IPV and frequent and severe IPV.

RESULTS:

Prevalence of IPV was highest at 3 months' post partum (21%) and lowest at 24 months (13%). The percentage of assaulted mothers who experienced severe IPV increased from 40% to 62% across this period. Seventy-five percent of mothers reporting IPV during pregnancy also reported IPV within 24 months following delivery. Of importance, 78% who experienced IPV during the first 3 postpartum months had not reported IPV before delivery. Ethnic differences in IPV were observed at 3, 6, and 18 months' post partum.

CONCLUSIONS:

Adolescents are at high risk for experiencing IPV during the postpartum period. Frequent screening for IPV by health care practitioners is critical to maximize detection.

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PMID:
11929364
DOI:
10.1001/archpedi.156.4.325
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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