Pacific Islands Families Study: Intimate Partner Violence and Postnatal Depression
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Aim The present study examined the association between maternal intimate partner violence (IPV) and postnatal depression (PND) 6 weeks after giving birth. Study Design Data were gathered from the Pacific Islands Families Study. Mothers of a cohort of Pacific infants born in Auckland, New Zealand during 2000 were interviewed 6 weeks after giving birth. There were 1,085 mothers cohabiting in married or de-facto partnerships who completed measures of IPV and PND at the 6-week assessment point. Results Women who were victims of physical violence were more likely to report postnatal depressive symptoms than those who were not (29.6% vs. 10.9%, OR: 3.44, 95% CI: 2.42, 4.97). The adjusted odds remained statistically significant (OR: 2.34, 95% CI: 1.52, 3.60). Conclusion Findings suggest that being the victim of physical violence more than doubles the risk of PND. The results of the study may help to develop culturally appropriate social services and policies for Pacific women.