The Influence Of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) On Neurological And Language Development Of Infants And Toddlers 3-24 Months
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentPublic Health and Policy
ProgramDoctor of Public Health
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About one in four women in the United States reports IPV at some point in their lifetime, with 1400 women in the United States dying annually as a result of IPV. While many studies have shown the negative impact of IPV on maternal health and wellbeing, not much is known about how maternal IPV impacts infants and toddlers under the age of two, specifically their neurological and language development. The present study examines the association between IPV scores of pregnant women participating in the Domestic Violence Enhanced Home Visitation Program (DOVE) and neurological and language development of infants and toddlers between the ages of 3-24 months. A total of 214 infants and toddlers born to women with mild, moderate and severe IPV were included in the analysis. IPV was determined by the Conflicts Tactics Scale-2 (CTS-2). Neurological and language development were measured with the Bayley Infant Neurodevelopmental Screener (BINS) and the Preschool Language Scale (PLS) respectively. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the bivariate association between maternal IPV and infants and toddlers' neurological and language development and between other independent variables and neurological and language development. Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) models with logit link was used in the multivariate analyses to predict the risk neurological and language delay among infants and toddlers as a result of maternal IPV. Infants and toddlers born to women with moderate levels of IPV were 5 times more likely to experience language delay compared to infants and toddlers of women that experienced mild violence (OR=5.31, 95%CI=2.94-9.50, p-value=0.000) after adjusting for potential confounders. Mother's age, partner support, stress and child's gender were associated with language delay. Infants and toddlers born to women that experienced moderate and severe IPV were 5 times and almost 3 times more likely to experience neurological delay respectively, compared to infants and toddlers of women that experienced mild IPV (OR= 5.42, 95% CI= 2.99-9.82, p=0.000 & OR= 2.57, 95% CI= 1.11-5.61, p=0.026). Maternal IPV is associated with neurological and language development of infants and toddlers. Interventions to reduce maternal IPV and provide services to infants and toddlers at risk are required.