Although various types of intimate partner violence (IPV) tend to co-occur, risk factors of each type of IPV may differ. At the same time, most of the existing literature on risk factors of IPV among minorities has used a cross-sectional design and has focused on physical rather than sexual IPV. We conducted the current study to compare Black and Hispanic women for psychological predictors of change in sexual IPV over time. Methods:
Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS), this study followed 561 Black and 475 Hispanic women with their male partners for four years. Independent variables included male partners’ depression, anxiety, problem alcohol use, and male-to-female physical and psychological IPV perpetration. The dependent variable was sexual IPV reported by female partners, measured at baseline, two years, and four years later. Covariates included age, income, marital status and educational level. We used a multi-group latent growth curve model (LGCM) to explain intercept, linear, and quadratic slopes, which represent the baseline, and linear and curvilinear trajectories of male-to-female sexual IPV, where groups were defined based on ethnicity. Results:
Psychological IPV was associated with sexual IPV at baseline among both ethnic groups. The male partner’s depression was a risk factor for an increase in sexual IPV over time among Black but not Hispanic women. Anxiety, problem alcohol use and physical IPV did not have an effect on the baseline or change in sexual IPV over time. Psychological IPV was not associated with an increase in sexual IPV over time in either ethnic groups. Conclusions:
There is a need for screening of sexual IPV in the presence of psychological IPV among minority women. There is also a need for screening and treatment of male partners’ depression as a strategy to reduce sexual IPV among Black women.
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