Examining associations between COVID-19 stressors, intimate partner violence, health, and health behaviors
journal contributionposted on 2021-08-01, 00:00 authored by A M Gresham, B J Peters, Gery KarantzasGery Karantzas, L D Cameron, J A Simpson
The economic, social, and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to increase the occurrence of intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization. IPV victimization may, in turn, contribute to physical and mental health, substance use, and social distancing behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary objective of the current study was to understand the extent to which 1) COVID-19 stressors are associated with IPV victimization and 2) IPV victimization is associated with health and health behaviors. Participants ( N = 1,813) completed an online survey between May 15 and 28, 2020 that assessed COVID-19 stressors (financial anxiety, social disconnection, health anxiety, COVID-19-specific stress), IPV victimization, physical and mental health, substance use, and movement outside of the home. Structural equation modeling indicated that greater COVID-19-related stressors were associated with greater IPV victimization during the pandemic, even after controlling for enduring vulnerabilities associated with IPV victimization. Additionally, greater IPV victimization during the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with higher levels of substance use and movement outside of the home, but not poorer physical and mental health. COVID-19 stressors may have detrimental relationship effects and health implications, underscoring the need for increased IPV intervention and support services during the pandemic. Findings from the current work provide preliminary correlational evidence for a theoretical model centered on IPV victimization, rather than perpetration.