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SPH Study Explores Maternal Experience of IPV in Young Children in Tanzania

Natalie Slopen and colleagues published a new study exploring the health implications of intimate partner violence on children

Faculty Associate Natalie Slopen and several researchers from the University of Maryland School of Public Health recently published a new study based on the implications of partner violence on children in Tanzania. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health issue that impacts mainly women and children. Previous research has shown the detrimental impact of IPV that’s associated with psychological and physical health outcomes in children. In this recent study, researchers looked at the relation between reports of maternal IPV and the level of a common measure of inflammation – C-reactive protein (CRP) – in Tanzanian children between 6-months and 5 years-old.

Elevated inflammation levels are a key marker of increased activation of innate immune function and the stress-response system. Researchers suggested that the timing on when these conditnions emerge is ““critically important, as it has implications for understanding, and intervening on, the early life origins of disease risk across the life course”. In addition, researchers hope to further study mater IPV as an independent risk factor for elevated inflammation in children due to early psychological trauma of witnessing a mother being abused or if child maltreatment may be implicated in this relation.

Slopen, N., et al. 2018. “Maternal Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence and C-Reactive Protein Levels in Young Children in Tanzania,” SSM-Population Health 6:107-115;