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Trajectories of Intimate Partner Violence Victimization

  • Author(s): Swartout, Kevin M
  • Cook, Sarah L
  • White, Jacquelyn W
  • et al.
Abstract

Introduction: The purposes of this study were to assess the extent to which latent trajectories of female intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization exist; and, if so, use negative childhood experiences to predict trajectory membership.

Methods: We collected data from 1,575 women at 5 time-points regarding experiences during adolescence and their 4 years of college. We used latent class growth analysis to fit a series of personcentered, longitudinal models ranging from 1 to 5 trajectories. Once the best-fitting model was selected, we used negative childhood experience variables—sexual abuse, physical abuse, and witnessing domestic violence—to predict most-likely trajectory membership via multinomial logistic regression.

Results: A 5-trajectory model best fit the data both statistically and in terms of interpretability. The trajectories across time were interpreted as low or no IPV, low to moderate IPV, moderate to low IPV, high to moderate IPV, and high and increasing IPV, respectively. Negative childhood experiences differentiated trajectory membership, somewhat, with childhood sexual abuse as a consistent predictor of membership in elevated IPV trajectories.

Conclusion: Our analyses show how IPV risk changes over time and in different ways. These differential patterns of IPV suggest the need for prevention strategies tailored for women that consider victimization experiences in childhood and early adulthood. [West J Emerg Med. 2012;13(3):272–277.]

 

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