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Co-occurring violent discipline of children and intimate partner violence against women in Latin America and the Caribbean: a systematic search and secondary analysis of national datasets
Authors: Sarah Bott, Ana P Ruiz-Celis, Jennifer Adams Mendoza, and Alessandra Guedes
Source: BMJ Global Health, Volume 6, Issue 12
Topic(s): Child health
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Country: More than one region
  Multiple Regions
Published: DEC 2021
Abstract: Introduction: Intersections between violent discipline (physical punishment and/or verbal aggression) of children and intimate partner violence (IPV) against women have received growing international attention. This study aimed to determine how many Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries had national data on co-occurring IPV and violent discipline in the same household, how estimates compared and whether violent discipline was significantly associated with IPV. Methods: A systematic search (following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines) was used to identify which LAC countries had eligible, national co-occurrence data. The most recent eligible dataset in each country was obtained and reanalysed for comparability. Standardised national estimates were produced for prevalence of violent discipline, physical and/or sexual IPV and co-occurrence among ever partnered women of reproductive age living with a child aged 1–14. Bivariate analyses and logistic regressions produced levels and odds ratios (ORs) of physical punishment and verbal aggression in households affected by IPV (past year and before past year) compared with never, adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics. Results: Nine countries had eligible datasets. Co-occurring physical punishment with past year IPV ranged from 1.7% (Nicaragua) to 17.5% (Bolivia); and with IPV ever from 6.0% (Nicaragua) to 21.2% (Haiti). In almost all countries, children in IPV affected households experienced significantly higher levels and ORs of physical punishment and verbal aggression, whether IPV occurred during or before the past year. Significant adjusted ORs of physical punishment ranged from 1.52 (95% CI 1.11 to 2.10) in Jamaica to 3.63 (95% CI 3.26 to 4.05) in Mexico for past year IPV; and from 1.50 (95% CI 1.23 to 1.83) in Nicaragua to 2.52 (95% CI 2.30 to 2.77) in Mexico for IPV before past year. Conclusions: IPV is a significant risk factor for violent discipline, but few national surveys in LAC measure both. Co-occurrence merits greater attention from policymakers and researchers.