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Intimate Partner Violence Among Men

Prevalence, Chronicity, and Health Effects

      Context

      The breadth and depth of intimate partner violence (IPV) experienced by men have not been fully documented.

      Objectives

      To describe the prevalence, chronicity, and severity of IPV, and the health outcomes associated with IPV, in adult men with healthcare insurance.

      Design

      A retrospective telephone cohort study conducted from 2003 to 2005. The setting was an integrated healthcare system in Washington State and Idaho.

      Participants

      English-speaking men aged 18 and older (N=420) enrolled in the healthcare system for 3 or more years.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Physical, psychological, and sexual IPV were assessed using five questions from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. Health was measured using the Short Form-36, version 2 (SF-36v2) survey, the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, and the National Institute of Mental Health Presence of Symptoms Survey.

      Results

      Men experienced IPV at a rate of 4.6% in the past year, 10.4% in the past 5 years, and 28.8% over their lifetimes. While overall rates of physical and nonphysical IPV were similar, men aged 18–55 were twice as likely to be recently abused (14.2%, SE=2.6%) than were men aged 55 and older (5.3%, SE=1.6%). Abuse was typically nonviolent or mildly violent, occurred on multiple occasions, and was initiated by only one intimate partner. Compared to men with no IPV, older men who experienced IPV had more depressive symptoms (prevalence ratios=2.61 and 2.80 for nonphysical and physical abuse) and had lower SF-36v2 mental health subscales (range=−3.21 to −5.86).

      Conclusions

      Men experience IPV at moderate rates, and poor mental health outcomes are associated with such experiences.
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