Intimate partner violence more prevalent among men with disabilities

By Jennifer Rosinski

UMass Medical School Communications

June 10, 2014

Men with disabilities are nearly twice as likely to experience lifetime and past year violence from an intimate partner—which can be a current or former partner or spouse—than men without disabilities, according to a study co-authored by UMass Medical School and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).

The study, Intimate Partner Violence in the Relationships of Men with Disabilities in the United States: Relative Prevalence and Health Correlates, reveals that men with disabilities who are victims of this type of violence are more likely to report poor mental and physical health, suffer from sleep problems and to engage in risky behaviors that include binge-drinking. Published online in May, the study will appear in the July print edition of the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

This study is the first to focus on the relationship between intimate partner violence and its effect on the health of men with disabilities. Findings from the study indicate that men with disabilities are in need of violence intervention and prevention services.

Data for the study was gathered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual telephone survey conducted in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. The study used data collected from 2005 to 2007.

The UMMS team was led by Monika Mitra, PhD, assistant professor of family medicine & community health and faculty researcher in the Center for Health Policy and Research within Commonwealth Medicine, a division of UMMS.DPH’s Vera E. Mouradian, PhD, is co-author.