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Intimate Partner Violence, Depression, and Child Growth and Development
Authors: Neamah HH, Sudfeld C, McCoy DC, Fink G, Fawzi WW, Masanja H, Danaei G, Muhihi A, Kaaya S, and Smith Fawzi MC
Source: Pediatrics, pii: e20173457; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2017-3457
Topic(s): Child health
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Country: Africa
Published: JUN 2018
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Evidence on the relationship between maternal depression and exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) with child physical growth and development is equivocal. Our aim in the current study is to examine these relationships among women and their children in Tanzania. METHODS: The Bayley Scales of Infant Development and anthropometric measures were used to assess children 18 to 36 months of age (n = 1031). Maternal exposure to IPV and depression were assessed using the Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey questionnaire and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, respectively. We used linear regression models to calculate standardized mean differences (SMDs) for developmental outcomes and generalized linear models to estimate the associations with nutritional status. RESULTS: Mild depressive symptoms in mothers (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 =5) and exposure to physical and sexual IPV were associated with lower SMDs for motor skills (-0.14 [P = .023] and -0.23 [P < .01], respectively), expressive communication (-0.13 [P = .187] and -0.23 [P < .01], respectively), receptive communication (-0.19 [P < .009] and -0.16 [P = .03], respectively), and cognitive development (-0.08 [P = .245] and -0.12 [P = .07], respectively). Exposure to physical and sexual IPV was associated with higher risk for stunting (relative risk = 1.6; P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals that maternal depressive symptoms and IPV are associated with adverse child nutritional and developmental outcomes. Further research is needed to develop programs to address IPV and depression among women and enhance the growth and development of their children.