Published on Mon Aug 23 2021

Categories of intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA) among young women and men: Latent Class Analysis of psychological, physical, and sexual victimisation and perpetration in a UK birth cohort

Herbert, A., Fraser, A., Howe, L. D., Szilassy, E., Barnes, M., Feder, G., Barter, C., Heron, J. E.

In the UK, around one-third of young people are exposed to IPVA by 21 years old. types of IPVA victimisation in this population (psychological, physical, sexual) are poorly understood. Participants in a UK birth cohort reported victimisation and perpetration by age 21.

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Abstract

Background In the UK, around one-third of young people are exposed to IPVA by 21 years old. However, types of IPVA victimisation in this population (psychological, physical, sexual), and their relationship with impact and perpetration are poorly understood. Methods Participants in a UK birth cohort reported IPVA victimisation and perpetration by age 21. We carried out a latent class analysis, where we categorised IPVA by types/frequency of victimisation, and then assigned individuals to their most probable class. Within these classes, we then estimated risks of reported: 1) types of negative impacts (sad, upset/unhappy, anxious, depressed, affected work/studies, angry/annoyed, drank/took drugs more); 2) types/frequency of perpetration. Results Among 2,130 women and 1,149 men, 32% and 24% reported IPVA victimisation (of which 89% and 73% reported negative impact); 21% and 16% perpetration. Victimisation responses were well represented by five classes, including three apparent in both sexes: No-low victimisation (characterised by low probabilities of all types of victimisation; average probabilities of women and men belonging to this class were 82% and 70%); Mainly psychological (15% and 12%); Psychological & physical victimisation (4% and 7%), and two classes that were specific to women: Psychological & sexual (7%); Multi-victimisation (frequent victimisation for all three types; 4%). In women, all types of negative impact were most common in the Psychological & sexual and Multi-victimisation classes; for men, the Psychological & physical class. In women, all types of perpetration were most common for the Mainly psychological, Psychological & physical, and Multi-victimisation classes; in men, the Mainly psychological and Psychological & physical classes. Discussion In this study of young people, we found categories of co-occurrence of types and frequency of IPVA victimisation associated with differential risks of negative impact and perpetrating IPVA. This is consistent with emerging evidence of IPVA differentiation and its variable impact in other populations.