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Prev Med. 2008 Nov;47(5):559-64. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.08.005. Epub 2008 Aug 23.

Profiling risk of fear of an intimate partner among men and women.

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Division of Epidemiology, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 125 Worth Street, Room 315, CN #6, New York, NY 10013, USA.



Fear of a partner, a component of intimate partner violence (IPV), can be used in clinical IPV assessment. This study examines correlates of fear in a population-based, urban sample to inform a gender-specific health care response to IPV.


This study used pooled data on 9687 men and 13,903 women collected in 2002, 2004 and 2005 through three random-digit-dial surveys of New York City adults. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were used to examine associations between fear and sociodemographic and health-related factors.


There was no significant difference in age-adjusted prevalence of reported fear of a partner between women (2.7%) and men (2.2%). In multivariable analysis, fear was correlated with being female, younger age, divorced or separated marital status, poor self-reported health status, and multiple sex partners. The most striking gender difference was in the stronger association with multiple sex partners among women (adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR]=6.2; p<0.01). Binge drinking was correlated with fear only among low-income adults (aOR=2.8; p<0.01).


IPV is a health concern for both men and women, and a risk profile for fear can guide IPV assessment in health care. Physicians should consider multiple sex partners in women and alcohol misuse in low-income patients as potential markers for IPV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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