Intimate partner violence perpetration among adolescent males in disadvantaged neighborhoods globally

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Purpose: Intimate partner violence (IPV) affects one in three women globally, with adolescent and young adult women at highest risk. Less is known about IPV perpetration. We compare the prevalence and correlates of IPV perpetration among 15- to 19-year-old adolescent males in Baltimore (United States), Johannesburg (South Africa), Delhi (India), and Shanghai (China). Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2013 with males aged 15–19 recruited via respondent-driven sampling from disadvantaged neighborhoods in four cities: Baltimore (United States), New Delhi (India), Johannesburg (South Africa), and Shanghai (China); total n = 751 ever-partnered men. We describe the prevalence of past-year physical and sexual IPV perpetration and evaluate associations with gender norm attitudes, mental health, substance use, victimization experiences, and demographic factors. Results: Past-year physical or sexual IPV perpetration ranged from 9% in Shanghai to 40% in Johannesburg. Factors associated with past-year perpetration across multiple sites included: binge drinking (Johannesburg adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.8, Baltimore AOR = 6.7, and Shanghai AOR = 3.2), depressive symptoms (Johannesburg AOR = 2.4 and Shanghai AOR = 2.2), victimization in the home (Baltimore AOR = 2.5, Shanghai AOR = 2.7, and Johannesburg AOR = 1.7), and community violence victimization (Baltimore AOR = 7.0, Delhi AOR = 4.1, and Johannesburg AOR = 2.8). Equitable gender norm attitudes were protective against IPV perpetration in Johannesburg and Shanghai. Demographic factors (e.g., age, employment, and education) were inconsistently associated with IPV perpetration across sites. Conclusions: Past-year IPV perpetration was prevalent with differences identified across settings. Findings suggest the need to scale up evidence-based interventions targeting adolescents in disadvantaged urban communities in order to address many modifiable factors associated with IPV perpetration in this study.