Descriptive epidemiology of intimate partner aggression in Ukraine
Partner aggression is believed to be widespread in Eastern Europe although systematic evidence is sparse. Using data from the World Mental Health (WMH) survey in Ukraine, we present the first population-based findings on the descriptive epidemiology of partner aggression among married adults.
Married men (n = 558) and women (n = 558) were interviewed with the WMH-Composite International Diagnostic Interview (WMH-CIDI) module assessing aggression in the marriage. Risk factors included demographic characteristics, witnessing parental aggression, early onset and adult episodes of DSM-IV psychiatric and alcohol disorders, and marital problem severity.
More women than men reported aggression by their spouse in the past year (12.7 vs. 5.8%) or ever in the marriage (20.1 vs. 8.6%), while ~11 and 19% of both sexes behaved aggressively against their spouse in these time periods. Among men, the unique risk factors for behaving aggressively were being married once, witnessing parental violence, early onset alcohol abuse, and intermittent explosive disorders (IED); the risk factors for reporting that their wives were aggressive were early onset alcohol abuse, IED and marital problems. Among women, the risk factors for behaving aggressively were younger age, unemployment, living in a rural area, early onset alcohol abuse, mood/anxiety disorders, and marital problems; the risk factors for reporting that their husbands behaved aggressively were younger age, early onset alcohol abuse, and marital problems.
Partner aggression is a significant public health issue in Ukraine predicted by alcohol abuse and IED before and after age 20 for men and women.