Domestic abuse during the previous year in a sample of postpartum women

Heather E. Certain*, Meridith Mueller, Tanya Jagodzinski, Michael Fleming

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the prevalence and the correlates of domestic abuse in women presenting for a postpartum visit. Design: Data were collected via a cross-sectional survey. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine characteristics of women reporting abuse. Setting: Thirty-five obstetric clinics in Wisconsin. Participants: One thousand five hundred nineteen women who presented for a postpartum visit. Most were White, well educated, employed, and married. Main Outcome Measure: Physical and/or emotional abuse in the previous 12 months. Results: One hundred twelve (7.4%) women were victims of abuse. Women who reported abuse were more likely to screen positive for postpartum depression (odds ratio 4.21, 95% confidence interval 2.19-8.09) be unmarried (odds ratio 7.05, 95% confidence interval 3.39-14.64), be older than 35 year (odds ratio 2.45, 95% confidence interval 1.10-5.50), be not in the labor force (odds ratio 2.39, 95% confidence interval 1.16-4.90), be of Hispanic ethnicity (odds ratio 2.73, 95% confidence interval 1.07-6.96), and have a partner who binge drinks (odds ratio 3.09, confidence interval 1.49-6.43). Conclusions: One in 14 women who present for a postpartum visit report emotional or physical abuse in the previous year. Although certain factors are more highly associated with domestic abuse, the high prevalence of abuse in this population supports the use of routine screening of women for domestic abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Domestic abuse
  • Postpartum period
  • Pregnancy
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery


Dive into the research topics of 'Domestic abuse during the previous year in a sample of postpartum women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this