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Young-age exposure to armed conflict and women’s experiences of intimate partner violence

Torrisi, Orsola ORCID: 0000-0003-1760-679X (2023) Young-age exposure to armed conflict and women’s experiences of intimate partner violence. Journal of Marriage and Family, 85 (1). 7 - 32. ISSN 0022-2445

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Identification Number: 10.1111/jomf.12876


Objective: This study examines the legacy of experiencing armed conflict in childhood and adolescence on women's later risk of intimate partner violence (IPV) in four ex-Soviet countries. Background: Prior research is largely concerned with male soldiers and perpetration, and rarely considers when, during the life course, conflict occurs. This study focuses on civilians, women's victimization and pays attention to the age at conflict exposure. This aspect is crucial to understand if war has lasting consequences for family violence, beyond contemporaneous effects. This paper further contributes by providing insights on driving mechanisms. Method: The study combines cross-national data on IPV from the Demographic and Health Surveys (N = 17,787) and geo-referenced conflict information from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program. Using linear models with fixed effects, it compares the IPV outcomes of women exposed to conflict before the end of their teens with nonexposed peers and older women. Results: Young-age conflict exposure is associated with greater adult IPV risk. Childhood exposure (ages 0–10) matters the most, especially for physical forms of IPV. Results are not driven by migration. Analyses of potential pathways show no relationship between war and changing marriage market conditions, or attitudes towards IPV in women. Conversely, men experiencing conflict in late adolescence (16–19) are more likely to condone violence against partners. Furthermore, women's childhood exposure to conflict correlates with having a violent father. Conclusion: War in young-ages has long-term implications for family violence. These appear in part related to greater exposure to family violence, and to a normalization of the use of violence in future potential perpetrators.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2022 10:33
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2024 23:45

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