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Children miss more school when their mothers experience high physical violence

February 13, 2020

A new study published in Maternal and Child Health Journal, led by Anna M. Scolese, Master of Public Health student at George Mason University, found that 23.3% of women who experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) reported their child's school attendance was disrupted due to IPV. The study used baseline data from a sub-sample of 659 women in Mexico City who recently experienced IPV and reported having a child under age 18. Researchers identified four distinct classes of IPV experiences: Low Physical and Sexual Violence; Low Physical and High Sexual Violence, High Physical and Low Sexual Violence and Injuries; and High Physical and Sexual Violence and Injuries.

The study found that women in both the High Physical and Sexual Violence and Injuries class and the High Physical and Low Sexual Violence and Injuries class were at greater risk of IPV disrupting children's school attendance than the women in the Low Physical and Sexual Violence class.

"Our analysis (LCA) allows us to identify patterns of IPV experience, such as those who experience more physical violence and injuries, and determine how these different patterns of IPV affect disruptions in school attendance," says Scolese. "Our results show that children of women who experience High Physical Violence and Injuries - with or without Sexual Violence- are at greater risk of school disruption. In short, if a mother experiences high physical violence and injuries from intimate partner violence, this is more likely to affect a child's school attendance."

Other study authors are from Warrant Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University, International Rescue Committee, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico.
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About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia's largest and most diverse public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 38,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. For more information, visit https://www2.gmu.edu/.

About the College of Health and Human Services

George Mason University's College of Health and Human Services prepares students to become leaders and shape the public's health through academic excellence, research of consequence and interprofessional practice. The College enrolls 1,917 undergraduate students and 950 graduate students in its nationally recognized offerings, including: 5 undergraduate degrees, 12 graduate degrees, and 11 certificate programs. The College is transitioning to a college public health in the near future. For more information, visit https://chhs.gmu.edu/.

George Mason University

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