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J Urban Health. 2006 Mar;83(2):182-94.

Neighborhood influences and intimate partner violence: does geographic setting matter?

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Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, 218 Parran Hall, 130 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15261, USA.


Intimate partner violence is one health-related outcome that has received growing attention from those interested in the role of neighborhood context. A limitation of existing contextual health research is its' failure to look beyond urban settings. Because suburban and rural areas have received so little attention, it is not clear whether data generated from urban samples can be generalized to non-urban geographic settings. We began to explore this issue using concept mapping, a participatory, mixed method approach. Data from 37 urban and 24 suburban women are used to explore and compare perceptions of neighborhood characteristics related to intimate partner violence. While several similarities exist between the perceptions of participants residing in urban and suburban areas, some differences were uncovered. These results provide valuable information regarding the perceived relationship between neighborhood context and intimate partner violence and suggest future avenues for research interested in examining the role of geographic setting.

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