The Association of Intimate Partner Violence and Depressive Symptoms in a Cohort of Rural Couples

Authors

  • Lynette M. Renner PhD, MSW,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Social Work, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
    • For further information, contact: Lynette M. Renner, School of Social Work, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Iowa, 308 North Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242; e-mail: lynette-renner@uiowa.edu.

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Leah Habib MD,

    1. Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health, The University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center, Iowa City, Iowa
    2. Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ann M. Stromquist PhD,

    1. Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health, The University of Iowa Great Plains Center for Agricultural Research, Iowa City, Iowa
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Corinne Peek-Asa PhD

    1. Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health, The University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center, Iowa City, Iowa
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Funding: Support for this project was provided by the CDC/NCIPC-funded University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center (1R49CE002108), and the CDC/NIOSH-funded Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health (U54/OH007548), both housed in The University of Iowa Department of Occupational and Environmental Health. Note: Leah Habib is now affiliated with Emory University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of physical and emotional intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration and victimization among adult, cohabitating couples. The association between IPV and depressive symptoms, as well as the severity of depressive symptoms, was reported for both males and females.

Methods

In a rural cohort study, 548 couples completed survey items concerning physical and emotional IPV, and mental health.

Findings

Males and females who perpetrated physical IPV were 17.7 and 11.5 times more likely, respectively, to also be victims of physical IPV. Male and female perpetrators of emotional IPV were 18.7 and 5.2 times as likely, respectively, to also be victims of emotional IPV. Males and females with IPV histories were 3.0 and 2.4 times more likely, respectively, to have depressive symptoms (P < .001) than those without abuse histories. Females reported higher scores than males on the depressive symptoms index.

Conclusions

This study suggests that many couples in rural areas use physical and emotional violence against each other in their relationships, and that both males and females who report a history of IPV are more likely to report depressive symptoms. These findings support IPV screening for physical and emotional violence among all patients and providing follow-up intervention programs in health care settings.

Ancillary