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Inj Control Saf Promot. 2004 Jun;11(2):125-9.

Partner violence as a risk factor for mental health among women from communities in the Philippines, Egypt, Chile, and India.

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Department of Psychology Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile.


Although studies have documented the associations between Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and mental health, few have been done in developing countries. In this study, the association between IPV and mental health in women from different developing countries was established. Women, 15 to 49 years old with at least one child 18 years old or younger, were randomly selected from communities in Chile, Egypt, India, and the Philippines (N = 3974). The Self Report questionnaire (SRQ) was used to assess mental health. Women with a score on the SRQ of 8 or more, or who reported ever attempting suicide, were classified as having poor mental health. Physical IPV was defined as being slapped, hit, kicked, beaten or threatened by a male partner during the past year. Psychological violence included being insulted or belittled, threatened or abandoned. Between 22.5% (in Egypt) to 41% (in Chile) of participating women reported a score of eight or more on the SRQ. High score on the SRQ were significantly associated with current physical and psychological IPV in the samples from all participating countries except Chile. Twelve percent of women in Chile, 2.6%, in Egypt, 7.5% in India and 1.6% in the Philippines reported attempting suicide. Suicide attempts were also associated with current physical IPV in the Philippines, Egypt, and India, and with psychological violence in Egypt and India. IPV is significant risk factor for poor mental health in these developing countries. Efforts to reduce IPV should be considered as part of a mental health program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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