Relationships of Reproductive Coercion and Intimate Partner Violence to Unintended Pregnancy

Published:October 31, 2018DOI:



      To examine the prevalence, correlates, and influences of male partner reproductive coercion (RC) and intimate partner violence (IPV) on unintended pregnancy (UIP).


      Retrospective cohort study using population-based data.


      Six participating states contributed data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS).


      Data were obtained for 20,252 women who gave birth between 2012 and 2015 and completed the PRAMS survey within 9 months of giving birth.


      Weighted descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression models were used to assess the influence of RC and IPV on odds of UIP.


      Approximately 2.7% (n = 600) of participants reported physical IPV, and 1.1% (n = 285) reported RC. Participants less than 30 years of age, with low socioeconomic status, who were single and of Black or Hispanic race/ethnicity were at significantly increased risk of IPV. With the exception of Hispanic race/ethnicity, these sociodemographic characteristics were also associated with an increased risk for RC. Participants who experienced IPV had a nearly eightfold increased risk of RC (adjusted odds ratio = 7.98, 95% confidence interval [CI] [4.68, 13.59]) than their nonabused counterparts. In univariate models, RC, IPV, or RC with IPV were significantly associated with increased odds of UIP (odds ratio [OR] = 2.18, 95% CI [1.38, 3.44]; OR = 2.36, 95% CI [1.75, 3.19]; OR = 3.55, 95% CI [1.56, 8.06], respectively); however, results were nonsignificant after adjusting for sociodemographic factors.


      In this population-based sample, we confirmed that there were links among IPV, RC, and UIP, all factors associated with poor maternal and infant outcomes. Screening for IPV and RC is an important step toward reducing rates of UIP.


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      Wilaiporn Samankasikorn, PhD, RN, is a senior lecturer in the Department of Maternal-Newborn Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand.


      Jeanne Alhusen, PhD, CRNP, RN, is an associate professor and the assistant dean for research, School of Nursing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.


      Guofen Yan, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.


      Donna L. Schminkey, PhD, MPH, CNM, RN, is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.


      Linda Bullock, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a professor emeritus in the School of Nursing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.