Zelalem Nigussie Hedija Yenus Yeshita Fantahun Ayenew Mekonnen Atalay Goshu Muluneh Zewudu Andualem


Background: Violence against women is a serious public health problem and human right abuse. Psychological abuse was the most common form of intimate partner violence that has not been noticed by policy makers. The magnitude ranges up to 90% among different populations. Developing countries including Ethiopia are at high risk of psychological abuse of women by their spouse. To the best of our knowledge, little has been studied in Ethiopia and no study has been conducted in the study area. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the magnitude and associated factors of psychological spousal against pregnant women.

Methods: This study was a facility based cross sectional study including 409 pregnant mothers at Debre Markos town from March-April, 2018. The study participants were selected using a systematic random sampling technique. A pretested and validated questionnaire was used. Binary logistic regression (Bivariable and Multivariable) was employed. Adjusted odds ratio with 95% confidence interval was used to declare statistically significant variables on the basis of p<0.05 in the multivariable logistic regression model.

Results: This study found that 119 (29.1%) of pregnant women have experienced psychological abuse by their spouse during their pregnancy period. Residence (AOR: 2.87, 95%CI: 1.11-7.39), age of partner (AOR: 2.68, 95%CI: 1.25-5.75), unwanted pregnancy (AOR: 3.55, 95%CI: 1.08-11.66), history of abortion (AOR: 2.79, 95%CI: 1.13-6.89), and mother’s age (AOR: 0.24, 95%CI: 0.11-0.50), have emerged as predictors for psychological spousal abuse during pregnancy.

Conclusions: The magnitude of psychological abuse against pregnant women by their spouse was high in this study. Socio-demographic and pregnancy related factors were important predictors of psychological violence. Consequently, it demands tremendous efforts to mitigate the problem through designing effective and appropriate measures.

Key words: Psychological spousal abuse, pregnant women, Antenatal care, Ethiopia




Psychological spousal abuse, pregnant women, Antenatal care, Ethiopia

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