The Impact of Prenatal and Postpartum Partner Violence on Maternal Mental Health: Results from the Community Child Health Network Multisite Study

Academic Article


  • Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) negatively impacts maternal and infant health, yet few studies assess violence at multiple time points during the childbearing year. Methods: Using data on 2018 women from the multisite Community Child Health Network (CCHN), this study assesses the relationship between past-year IPV (reported at 1 and 12 months postpartum) and maternal depression and perceived stress measured 1 year postpartum. Past-year IPV was measured using a modified version of the HITS (Hurts, Insults, Threatens, and Screams) assessment; depression was assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale; perceived stress was assessed by the Perceived Stress Scale. Multivariable logistic regression models estimated risk for depression and estimated stress scores among women reporting exposure to IPV at one or both time points compared to those unexposed to IPV, adjusting for maternal age and household income. Results: At 1 month postpartum, 36% of participants reported past-year IPV. At 12 months postpartum, 48% of participants reported IPV at either or both interviews. Compared to women reporting no IPV at either time point, violence reported at both time points was associated with symptoms of postpartum depression (considered a score of ≥13) (odds ratio [OR] = 2.06, confidence intervals [CI] = 1.21-3.53) and increased levels of perceived stress (β = 1.64, CI = 0.86-2.41) at 12 months postpartum after adjusting for baseline depression and perceived stress, respectively. Conclusions: These findings expand on previous research by showing that IPV, particularly when recurrent, is associated with increased risk of depression and perceived stress 1 year postpartum. Routine IPV screening paired with linkage to support services throughout prenatal and postpartum care is one strategy to address this important problem.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Velonis AJ; O'Campo P; Kaufman-Shriqui V; Kenny K; Schafer P; Vance M; Dunkel Schetter C; Hillemeier MM; Lanzi R; Chinchilli VM
  • Start Page

  • 1053
  • End Page

  • 1061
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 10