The interrelationship between intimate partner violence and postpartum depression in a sample of women living in an impoverished section of an urban community
MetadataShow full item record
Research on the relationship between Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Post Partum depression (PPD) is limited. Numerous antecedents and consequences of both IPV and PPD are noted in the literature, however understanding the impacts of partner violence on the postpartum mood are not clearly understood. This exploratory study used a mixed methods design to further understand the relationship between IPV and PPD among women who are living in an impoverished section of an urban community. Retrospective chart reviews were conducted from a pediatric/perinatal social work outreach program in a moderate size urban community (N=128). Individual logistic regressions on IPV and PPD were used to calculate odds ratios and confidence intervals for the factors in each of the risk areas: socio-demographics, social support, stress, substance use/abuse, trauma and prenatal depression. Results indicate a significant relationship between PPD and prenatal depression. Numerous significant relationships between factors and IPV were found, specifically: age, social support, substance use, child protections involvement. Qualitative analysis further revealed key findings to suggest that there is an indirect relationship between IPV and PPD, resulting from childhood abuse trauma, social support and prenatal depression. Social support appears pivotal for women who have experienced childhood abuse trauma; those with deficits in family social support appear to have a higher likelihood of entering an abusive adult relationship and are at higher risk of developing and suffering more severe PPD. Prenatal depression is also prominent in women who experience PPD and the incidence of prenatal depression appears influenced by IPV. The findings add to the limited research evidence surrounding the emerging complex relationship between IPV and PPD, and provide a framework that can guide social work practice and inform a future research agenda. This research provides a level of consciousness raising that will hopefully impact social work practice through a heightened awareness of issues that plague women.