Mental ill health and factors associated with men's use of intimate partner violence in Zimbabwe.BMC Public Health. 2018 03 20; 18(1):376.BP
Over the years, researchers have relied on data from women victims to understand the profile on male perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV). IPV studies with male participants in the general population are still emerging in Africa. The contribution of mental ill health to IPV perpetration in the general population that has been documented elsewhere is emergent. Notwithstanding, research with male perpetrators is essential to informing effective prevention programmes and interventions. To contribute to the emerging literature on male perpetrators, we conducted a study to estimate the prevalence and factors associated with IPV perpetration by men in heterosexual relationships. We also modelled pathways to IPV perpetration using data from Zimbabwe.
Data were collected through a nationwide survey employing a random and multi-staged sampling method. We recruited and administered a structured questionnaire to 2838 men aged 18 years and above. IPV was measured using an adapted WHO Domestic Violence Questionnaire. Determinants of IPV measured included child abuse, alcohol abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive symptoms, personal gender attitudes and risky sexual behaviours. Multivariate regression modelling was used to assess factors associated with IPV perpetration. Structural equation modelling was used to explore the underlying pathways to recent IPV perpetration.
Forty one percent of men had perpetrated IPV in their lifetime and 8.8% percent of men perpetrated IPV in the 12 months before the survey. Older, more educated men, men who binge drank, men who were abused as children or experienced other life traumatic experiences were more likely to perpetrate IPV in lifetime. Depressive symptoms and sexual relationship power (were also associated with lifetime IPV perpetration. IPV perpetration in the last 12 months was associated with binge drinking, PTSD and sexual relationship power. The pathways to IPV perpetration in the last 12 months from child abuse to recent IPV were mediated by comorbid PTSD symptoms, depression binge drinking and sexual relationship power.
IPV perpetration was associated with child abuse history, mental ill health, sexual relationship power and personal gender attitudes. Interventions to reduce IPV need to engage men to address gender inequality, mental ill health and reduce alcohol consumption.