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Intimate partner violence against adult women and its association with major depressive disorder, depressive symptoms and postpartum depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis


  • Beydoun, Hind A.
  • Beydoun, May A.
  • Kaufman, Jay S.
  • Lo, Bruce
  • Zonderman, Alan B.


To date, few systematic reviews of observational studies have been conducted to comprehensively evaluate the co-morbidity of intimate partner violence (IPV) and specific depression outcomes in women. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we summarize the extant literature and estimate the magnitude of the association between IPV and key depressive outcomes (elevated depressive symptoms, diagnosed major depressive disorder and postpartum depression). PubMed (January 1, 1980–December 31, 2010) searches of English-language observational studies were conducted. Most of the selected 37 studies had cross-sectional population-based designs, focused on elevated depressive symptoms and were conducted in the United States. Most studies suggested moderate or strong positive associations between IPV and depression. Our meta-analysis suggested two to three-fold increased risk of major depressive disorder and 1.5–2-fold increased risk of elevated depressive symptoms and postpartum depression among women exposed to intimate partner violence relative to non-exposed women. A sizable proportion (9%–28%) of major depressive disorder, elevated depressive symptoms, and postpartum depression can be attributed to lifetime exposure to IPV. In an effort to reduce the burden of depression, continued research is recommended for evaluating IPV preventive strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Beydoun, Hind A. & Beydoun, May A. & Kaufman, Jay S. & Lo, Bruce & Zonderman, Alan B., 2012. "Intimate partner violence against adult women and its association with major depressive disorder, depressive symptoms and postpartum depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(6), pages 959-975.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:6:p:959-975
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.04.025

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nikolay Nenovsky & S. Statev, 2006. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00260898, HAL.
    2. M. Ruth & K. Donaghy & P. Kirshen, 2006. "Introduction," Chapters,in: Regional Climate Change and Variability, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Romito, Patrizia & Grassi, Michele, 2007. "Does violence affect one gender more than the other? The mental health impact of violence among male and female university students," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(6), pages 1222-1234, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Jinseok & Lee, Joohee, 2013. "Prospective study on the reciprocal relationship between intimate partner violence and depression among women in Korea," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 42-48.
    2. Green, Eric P. & Blattman, Christopher & Jamison, Julian & Annan, Jeannie, 2015. "Women's entrepreneurship and intimate partner violence: A cluster randomized trial of microenterprise assistance and partner participation in post-conflict Uganda (SSM-D-14-01580R1)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 177-188.
    3. Vinck, Patrick & Pham, Phuong N., 2013. "Association of exposure to intimate-partner physical violence and potentially traumatic war-related events with mental health in Liberia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 41-49.
    4. Laura M. Schwab-Reese & Corinne Peek-Asa & Edith Parker, 2016. "Associations of financial stressors and physical intimate partner violence perpetration," Injury Epidemiology, Springer;Columbia University Medical Center, vol. 3(1), pages 1-10, December.


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