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Community-level correlates of intimate partner violence against women globally: A systematic review


  • VanderEnde, Kristin E.
  • Yount, Kathryn M.
  • Dynes, Michelle M.
  • Sibley, Lynn M.


Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women is a problem facing women around the world, one that has implications for women's health and well-being. The relationship between communities and the occurrence of IPV is an expanding area of research. Although a large number of community characteristics have been examined in relation to IPV, the research as a whole lacks a coherent theoretical focus or perspective. In this systematic review, we provide a comprehensive synthesis of the evidence regarding the community-level correlates of IPV against women. In our review of peer-reviewed research published between January 1, 1990 and January 31, 2011, we identify key community-level correlates, detect gaps, and offer recommendations for future research. Recognizing a difference in approach between U.S. and non-U.S. based research and an over-reliance on a primarily urban, U.S.-based perspective on communities and IPV, we advocate for a global perspective that better reflects the social and economic fabric of communities around the world. Specifically, future research should focus on the most promising, but currently under-studied, community-level correlates of IPV against women, namely gender inequality, gender norms, and adapted measures of collective efficacy/social cohesion.

Suggested Citation

  • VanderEnde, Kristin E. & Yount, Kathryn M. & Dynes, Michelle M. & Sibley, Lynn M., 2012. "Community-level correlates of intimate partner violence against women globally: A systematic review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(7), pages 1143-1155.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:7:p:1143-1155
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.05.027

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2007.113738_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Boyle, Michael H. & Georgiades, Katholiki & Cullen, John & Racine, Yvonne, 2009. "Community influences on intimate partner violence in India: Women's education, attitudes towards mistreatment and standards of living," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 691-697, September.
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2004.050872_2 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Gage, Anastasia J., 2005. "Women's experience of intimate partner violence in Haiti," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 343-364, July.
    5. Yount, Kathryn M. & DiGirolamo, Ann M. & Ramakrishnan, Usha, 2011. "Impacts of domestic violence on child growth and nutrition: A conceptual review of the pathways of influence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(9), pages 1534-1554, May.
    6. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1995:85:8:1092-1097_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Michael Koenig & Saifuddin Ahmed & Mian Hossain & A. Mozumder, 2003. "Women’s status and domestic violence in rural Bangladesh: Individual- and community-level effects," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(2), pages 269-288, May.
    8. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2009.169730_3 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Seema Vyas & Lori Heise, 2016. "How do area-level socioeconomic status and gender norms affect partner violence against women? Evidence from Tanzania," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 61(8), pages 971-980, November.
    3. Blay-Tofey, Morkeh & Lee, Bandy X., 2015. "Preventing gender-based violence engendered by conflict: The case of Côte d'Ivoire," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 341-347.


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