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Long-term exposure to neighbourhood-level deprivation and the risk of experiencing intimate partner violence among women: a birth-cohort study in the United Kingdom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages59
JournalEpidemiology
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Jul 2019

Abstract

Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the most common form of violence perpetrated against women. Although commonly hypothesised, the effect of neighbourhood disadvantage on IPV against women has never been investigated prospectively outside the United States.

Methods: We used data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children in the United Kingdom, which followed our target sample, 7,219 women, from birth and their mothers. At age 21, 2,128 participants self-reported the frequency of experiencing physical, psychological, or sexual IPV since age 18. Participants' mothers reported on family-level socioeconomic characteristics (e.g., income) at ten time points from baseline (gestation) until
children were 18 years old. Participants' exposure to neighbourhood-level deprivation was measured at each time using the Indices of Multiple Deprivation. We estimated the effect of cumulative exposure to greater neighbourhood-level deprivation on the risk of experiencing IPV using marginal structural models with stabilised inverse probability weights, accounting for timevarying confounding by socioeconomic indicators and sample attrition.

Results: A one-unit increase in cumulative exposure to more severe neighbourhood deprivation was associated with a 62% increase in participants' frequency of IPV experiences (IRR=1.62, 95% CI 1.11–2.37) and a 36% increase in their risk of experiencing any IPV (RR=1.36, 95% CI 1.01–1.85).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that cumulative exposure to greater neighbourhood-level deprivation over the first 18 years of life increased women's risk of experiencing IPV in early adulthood. Future studies should test this effect across contexts, including underlying mechanisms, and evaluate preventive strategies that target structural disparities.

    Research areas

  • intimate partner violence, women, neighborhood, longitudinal studies, United Kingdom

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