Violence against women by intimate partners remains unacceptably common worldwide. The evidence base for the assumed psychological impacts of intimate partner violence (IPV) is derived primarily from studies conducted in high-income countries. A recently published systematic review identified 13 studies linking IPV to incident depression, none of which were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa. To address this gap in the literature, we analysed longitudinal data collected during the course of a 3-y cluster-randomized trial with the aim of estimating the association between IPV and depression symptom severity.

The research conducted a secondary analysis of population-based, longitudinal data collected from 1,238 pregnant women during a 3-y cluster-randomized trial of a home visiting intervention
in Cape Town, South Africa – Philani Mentor Mothers Programme. Surveys were conducted at baseline, 6 mo, 18 mo, and 36 mo (85% retention). The primary explanatory variable of interest was exposure to four types of physical IPV in the past year. Depression symptom severity was measured using the Xhosa version of the ten-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.

Authors: Alexander C. Tsai (Massachusetts General Hospital, MGH Global Health, Boston, USA), Mark Tomlinson, PhD, (Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, Matieland, Stellenbosch, South Africa), W Scott Comulada (Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California at Los Angeles, LosAngeles, USA),  Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, PhD (Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel Institute, University of California at Los Angeles)

To access the full report, please contact or

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!