The relationship between women’s experience of intimate partner violence and other socio-demographic factors, and under-5 children’s health in South Africa

Autoři: Sasha Frade aff001;  Nicole De Wet-Billings aff001
Působiště autorů: Demography and Population Studies Programme, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225412


Women in South Africa experience high levels of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). There are numerous health consequences experienced by victims. However, children of IPV victims often experience negative emotional and developmental outcomes as well. In South Africa, infant and child health outcomes are not optimal and IPV is high, and thus there is a need to determine whether a relationship between them exists. This study used the 2016 South African Demographic and Health Survey. Mothers aged 15 to 49 and who were included in the Domestic Violence module formed the study population. Frequency tables and graphs were done, and unadjusted and adjusted logistic regressions were performed with each of the three reported child health outcomes (birth weight, duration of breastfeeding and diarrhoea incidence), IPV and other socio-demographic factors. Thirteen percent of women have experienced IPV. Five percent of their children were low birth weight, 10% had experienced diarrhoea; but 87% had been breastfed for 6+ months. Mothers in the rich wealth category were 37% more likely to have a child born at low birth weight but those aged 20 to 39 had around a 60% less likelihood of breastfeeding for 6+ months than 15 to 19-year olds. Women who had experienced IPV had around 77% higher odds of having a child experience diarrhoea in the last 2 weeks. Wealthier mothers often have unhealthier lifestyle practices and behaviours, due to more disposable income which could account for lower birth weight children. Mothers in tertiary education and starting their professional careers are normally around 20 to 39 years and should be provided supportive structures to be allowed to breastfeed their children. The long-term emotional and developmental consequences to children of IPV victims are known, but we now know that there are also very immediate consequences to the health of these children as well.

Klíčová slova:

African people – Birth weight – Diarrhea – Female contraception – Child health – Intimate partner violence – South Africa


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Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11