Physical Intimate Partner Violence and Contraceptive Behaviors Among Young Women

Background: Understanding the link between physical intimate partner violence (IPV) and contraception is key to preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Materials and Methods: Data from the Relationship Dynamics and Social Life study, a longitudinal study of a racially and socioeconomically diverse population-representative random sample of 18- to 19-year-old women residing in a Michigan county in 2008-2009 and followed weekly through 2011-2012, were used. Logistic regression models of contraceptive behaviors on temporally specific measures of physical violence victimization: recent, history in the current relationship, and history in prior relationships were conducted among 711 women.

Results: Women who experienced physical IPV in their current relationship had lower odds of using contraception (odds ratio [OR], 0.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.28, 0.76 for recent; OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.33, 0.83 for past). Condom use was lower among women who experienced past physical IPV in their current relationship (OR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.26, 0.73), while withdrawal use was higher (OR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.24, 3.19). Women who experienced physical IPV used condoms less consistently (OR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.13, 0.85 for recent; OR, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.14, 0.52 for prior relationships).

Conclusions: Physical IPV victimization is a dynamic and strong predictor of contraceptive use, method type, and consistency of condom use.