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Determinants and Reproductive Health Consequences of Domestic Violence in India


Domestic violence represents the most pervasive form of violence which women experience globally. Despite increased attention to this issue over the last decade, understanding of its precipitating factors and consequences for women''s reproductive and mental health remains limited in developing countries. This proposal builds upon previous methodological and substantive work by the investigators to further explore the determinants and consequences of domestic violence in rural India, a setting characterized by high rates of domestic violence and poor reproductive and mental health among women. Quantitative data for the study come from panel data from a 2002-03 follow-up study of 6437 reproductive-aged women originally interviewed as part of the 1998-99 National Family Health Survey-2 in four Indian states-Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu-- supplemented by district-level crime data. Multi-level logit models will be employed to investigate the relative contributions of individual-level (socioeconomic status, demographic factors, women''s status, family structure, dowry adequacy, alcohol consumption, intergenerational exposure to domestic violence) and contextual (socioeconomic development, women''s status, violent crime rates, norms concerning domestic violence) factors in explaining the risk of domestic violence in this setting. The study will subsequently employ gamma frailty models to investigate the relationship between domestic violence and birth outcomes, selected reproductive health outcomes (contraceptive adoption, unintended pregnancy), and women''s mental health using both prospective and retrospective data from the study. Findings from the study will yield new insights into the precipitating factors for domestic violence in low resource settings such as India, and suggest potential individual- and community-level interventions to reduce the risks of such violence to women. Our findings are also likely to highlight the public health significance of domestic violence, by providing more conclusive evidence on the implications of domestic violence for child survival and women''s reproductive and mental health and well-being.


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