THURSDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Young women whose intimate
partners try to control them are at increased risk for physical and
sexual domestic violence, a new study finds.
It included more than 600 women aged 15 to 24 who were patients
at a reproductive health center. Sixty-eight percent reported that
a partner exhibited controlling behavior.
Of those women, 38 percent said they experienced controlling
behavior only. But another 11 percent reported experiencing
controlling behavior plus physical abuse, 10 percent reported
controlling behavior and sexual violence, and nearly 9 percent
reported having been victims of all forms of relationship
Women were more likely to experience a higher number of episodes
of controlling behavior if they were aged 15 to 18, Hispanic, had
been exposed to domestic violence during childhood, had been
pregnant at least once, had suffered recent physical or sexual
violence, and felt uncomfortable asking a male partner to use a
The types of controlling behavior reported by the women
included: being expected to ask a partner's permission before
seeking health care (3.7 percent); having contact with their family
restricted (6.3 percent); being ignored or treated indifferently by
a partner (24.7 percent); and having a partner try to prevent them
from seeing friends (26.5 percent).
"These data demonstrate the high frequency of controlling behaviors in the relationships of adolescents and young adults," concluded Dr. Marina Catallozzi of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City and colleagues.
"In addition, this awareness of the high rates of controlling behavior and the overlap with relationship violence, particularly for young people, may affect how they view health care provider-based screening and how honestly they might answer screening questions," they said.
Since teens and young women may not be comfortable disclosing
such information, "carefully crafted, repeated, and novel screening
to improve identification, referral and treatment" is needed, the
The study is published in the April issue of the journal
Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has
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