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Aggress Behav. 2013 Jul-Aug;39(4):247-56. doi: 10.1002/ab.21479. Epub 2013 Apr 3.

Individual and national level associations between economic deprivation and partner violence among college students in 31 national settings.

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Penn State Harrisburg, Middletown, PA 17055, USA.


This study expands previous work by examining individual and national level effects of economic deprivation on partner violence among college students. Three main hypotheses were tested: (1) individual level economic deprivation (i.e., ability to meet daily needs and family income) is associated with partner violence, (2) gross national income is associated with the mean rates of partner violence across nations, and (3) the association between individual level economic deprivation and partner violence varies according to the economic national context as measured by gross national income. Data for 14,090 participants from 31 nations came from the International Dating Violence Study that queried university students about violence in their relationships and relevant risk factors. A series of overdispersed Poisson hierarchical linear regression models were specified to test the hypotheses. Ability to meet daily needs, but not family income, was associated with rates of partner violence. Gross national income was also associated with mean rates of partner violence across nations as well as the relationships between ability to meet daily and partner violence and between family income and partner violence. The findings show the importance of context, as indicated by national economic standing, on rates of partner violence. Not only do economically deprived individuals experience more partner violence, but those living in poorer nations experience more partner violence, regardless of individual economic deprivation. Limitations of the study include a non-random sample and substantial variation in the study sites beyond economic standing. Nonetheless, findings indicate efforts to confront partner violence must also call for cross-national economic development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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