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Association between spousal violence and the incidence of acute respiratory infection among children under five: random-effect modelling using data from Nigeria and Bangladesh

  • Mian B. Hossain (a1), Ifeyinwa Udo (a2) and James F. Phillips (a3)

Abstract

Acute respiratory infection (ARI) is a major cause of mortality among children under the age of five in developing countries. This paper examines Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data on maternal recall of episodes of ARI in the contrasting settings of Bangladesh and Nigeria, where about 11.1% and 3.3% of under-5 children, respectively, are reported to have symptoms of ARI. The surveys found that about 25.6% of married Bangladeshi women and 15.4% of married Nigerian women reported experiencing spousal violence in the past year. To test the proposition that women’s experience of intimate partner violence (IPV) is associated with adversity in their children, the study examined the relationship between spousal violence in the past year and childhood ARI in the past 2 weeks among children under the age of five in Bangladesh and Nigeria. Data were taken from a nationally representative sample of mothers aged 15–49 years obtained from the 2007 Bangladesh DHS and 2008 Nigeria DHS. Random-effects multiple logistic regression models were estimated to assess the association of maternal exposure to IPV with the incidence of ARI in the past 2 weeks among under-5 children after controlling for the potentially confounding effects of maternal social and demographic characteristics. Results from Nigeria suggest that the odds of ARI incidence among children of mothers who were IPV victims were almost two times higher than among their counterparts whose mothers had not experienced IPV (OR = 1.78; 95% CI: 1.45–2.19; p <0.001). Similarly, the odds for the children of Bangladeshi IPV victims were elevated one and half times (OR = 1.61; 95% CI: 1.21–2.14; p <0.001). The findings suggest that under-5 children suffer indirect health consequences of gender-based violence.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email: mian.hossain@morgan.edu

References

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