Impacts of domestic violence on child growth and nutrition: a conceptual review of the pathways of influence.
ABSTRACT Domestic violence against women is a global problem, and young children are disproportionate witnesses. Children's exposure to domestic violence (CEDV) predicts poorer health and development, but its effects on nutrition and growth are understudied. We propose a conceptual framework for the pathways by which domestic violence against mothers may impair child growth and nutrition, prenatally and during the first 36 months of life. We synthesize literatures from multiple disciplines and critically review the evidence for each pathway. Our review exposes gaps in knowledge and opportunities for research. The framework also identifies interim strategies to mitigate the effects of CEDV on child growth and nutrition. Given the global burden of child malnutrition and its long-term effects on human-capital formation, improving child growth and nutrition may be another reason to prevent domestic violence and its cascading after-effects.
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ABSTRACT: Adult body size and composition (ABSC) measures are associated with work capacity and productivity, reproductive performance, and chronic disease risk. Growth failure in early childhood may have important long-term consequences through its influence on ABSC. We assessed associations between prenatal and postnatal growth (0-2 y of age) and ABSC. We included 267 singletons from a prospective study carried out between 1969 and 1977 in 4 ladino Guatemalan villages. We used data from that study and from a follow-up study conducted in 1998-1999 (when the subjects were 21-27 y of age) to determine associations of birth weight, length at 15 d of age, ponderal index, and length at 2 y of age with adult height, weight, fat-free mass (FFM), fat mass, percentage of body fat, and waist-to-hip ratio. Multivariate linear regression analyses with mixed models were carried out to account for sibling clustering. Two-stage least-squares analyses were used to separate specific effects of prenatal and postnatal growth. Birth weight, length at 15 d of age, and length at 2 y of age were positively associated with height, weight, and FFM in both sexes (P < 0.05). Prenatal growth and postnatal growth were equally important determinants of height, weight, and FFM. Weak positive associations of postnatal growth with adult fat mass and percentage of body fat were found in both sexes, whereas similar associations for prenatal growth were found in women only. Growth in early childhood was not related to waist-to-hip ratio. Growth retardation in early childhood was associated with shortness and less FFM in adulthood. Preventing growth failure in utero and preventing growth failure during the first 2 y of life are equally important for ABSC.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 07/2003; 77(6):1498-505. · 6.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: While the women's health consequences of intimate partner violence have received much research attention, less is known about how maternal abuse experiences affect infant health and well-being. Existing studies have also been unable to examine specific types of intimate partner violence such as psychological aggression, physical abuse, and sexual coercion. This secondary data analysis explored the prevalence, patterns, and types of intimate partner violence within a large cohort of mothers and explored the relationship between maternal intimate partner violence experiences and infant's general health and temperament at 1 year of age. Existing data were drawn from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study which collected data through surveys conducted shortly after the infant's birth (baseline) and at 1 year of age (follow-up). Records from 4,141 mothers recruited from 75 hospitals, in 20 cities, in the US were used. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were conducted. Results show high rates of intimate partner violence. Maternal reports of any intimate partner violence at baseline or follow-up were both significantly associated with increased odds of less than excellent infant general health and difficult temperament. Independent examination of psychological, physical, and sexual abuse revealed differential relationships between the types of intimate partner violence and infant health outcomes. Results from this study contribute to our understanding of the infant health threats associated with maternal intimate partner violence experiences. Additional research addressing the complex relationship between maternal abuse experiences and infant health and specific intervention implications is warranted.Maternal and Child Health Journal 04/2008; 12(2):172-9. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study describes and compares health, developmental, and behavioral manifestations of witnessing domestic violence in a health department population of preschool children (n = 15) of women detected to be battered (Conflict Tactics Scale [CTS], Straus, 1979). Comparisons included a community sample of the preschool children of nonbattered women (n = 62) to study the effect of mothers being battered, and a shelter sample of the preschool children of battered women (n = 53) to study the effect of "sheltering" on children's characteristics. Instrumentation included behavioral subscales, physical assessment, Denver II Developmental Screening, hemoglobin and lead levels, immunization, and nonmotor vehicle accident histories. Results showed more similarities between children of community (nonsheltered), battered and nonbattered women, but showed more differences between the children of community (nonsheltered) battered women and the children of sheltered, battered women. Battering intensity of the women was more severe in the shelter sample according to the CTS (p < .001), and more abnormal findings in their children were detected than in the community sample. When children of community (nonsheltered), battered women (n = 15) and children of sheltered, battered women (n = 53) were included in discriminant analysis of demographic characteristics, health status, and psychosocial variables, 87% of each group was classified correctly.Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing 01/1997; 20(4):217-25.