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Exploring Women's Perceptions of Their Birth Outcomes: Intimate Partner Violence During Pregnancy

Barkowitz, Elana Rachel (2011) Exploring Women's Perceptions of Their Birth Outcomes: Intimate Partner Violence During Pregnancy. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Background: Over 300,000 pregnant women experience intimate partner violence during the course of their pregnancies each year, exposing both the mother and fetus to physical and emotional harm. Though many programs are available to victims of intimate partner violence, there continues to be a lack of effective interventions available to women who are pregnant while experiencing abuse. Objective: To identify current research and programming as well as explore the perceptions of women who have experienced abuse during their pregnancies. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with two women between December 2010 and February 2011. Results: Three similar topics surfaced in both interviews conducted. First, the women interviewed articulated feeling trapped in staying with their abusers due to their pregnancies. Second, financial support emerged as a reason why participants stayed with their abusers. Finally, both participants expressed that they wish they had known of people to talk to about their abuse during the course of their pregnancies. Conclusions: There appears to be a need for consistent and effective screening of intimate partner violence during prenatal appointments. In addition, there should be an increase in the development and implementation of programs that focus on providing individual support and placing emphasis on social support. Public Health Significance: Intimate partner violence continues to be the leading cause of injury and death in women of childbearing age in the United States. Paired with pregnancy, the risks of negative health outcomes to both mother and fetus are high and the repercussions include short and long term injury, emotional distress, and even death. Economically, costs of the harm caused by intimate partner violence during pregnancy exceed close to six billion dollars each year. Intimate partner violence during pregnancy is of major public health concern and continuing to address it in research and the development of interventions is necessary in mitigating the impact that it makes on the lives of those who experience it.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Barkowitz, Elana
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Committee MemberBurke, Jessicajgburke@pitt.eduJGBURKE
Committee MemberFusco, Rachelraf45@pitt.eduRAF45
Committee MemberThomas, Tammytlthomas@pitt.eduTLTHOMAS
Date: 29 June 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 6 April 2011
Approval Date: 29 June 2011
Submission Date: 6 April 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: intimate; IPV; maternal; outcomes; partner; pregnancy; trauma; violence; domestic; preterm; women; birth
Other ID:, etd-04062011-145954
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:34
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:38


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