Intersections Between Childhood Abuse and Adult Intimate Partner Violence Among Ecuadorian Women



Objectives Strong linkages exist between childhood abuse and adult intimate partner violence (IPV) among women in developed countries. Few studies examine this pattern in developing nations. This study explores the effect of childhood physical and/or psychological abuse on the likelihood of IPV among a national sample of Ecuadorian women of reproductive age. Methods Secondary data analysis was conducted on a subsample of 9,077 Ecuadorian women, utilizing the 2004 Encuesta Demografía y de Salud Materna e Infantil survey. Cross-tabulations and multivariate logistic regression models were utilized to assess whether women who report childhood abuse had a higher likelihood of reporting sexual, physical or psychological IPV during their lifetimes or within the past year. Results Levels of abuse were high. More than 30% of women reported childhood psychological or physical abuse, and 21% experienced both types of abuse. Forty percent of women reported sexual, physical or psychological IPV during their lifetimes, while 15% reported any form of IPV in the past year. The co-occurrence of childhood psychological and physical abuse was highly predictive of all forms of IPV, with less consistent associations for women who reported only physical or only psychological childhood abuse. Conclusions This study suggests that childhood abuse is an important risk factor for IPV victimization among Ecuadorian women. While this analysis supports findings from developed countries, more cross-cultural research about patterns of violence throughout the life course is needed to develop relevant prevention programs.


Intimate partner violence Child abuse Ecuador 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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