Effects of Socioeconomic Status and Social Support on Violence against Pregnant Women: A Structural Equation Modeling Analysis.

PloS one

PubMedID: 28107428

Ribeiro MR, Silva AA, Alves MT, Batista RF, Ribeiro CC, Schraiber LB, Bettiol H, Barbieri MA. Effects of Socioeconomic Status and Social Support on Violence against Pregnant Women: A Structural Equation Modeling Analysis. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(1):e0170469.
Few studies have used structural equation modeling to analyze the effects of variables on violence against women. The present study analyzed the effects of socioeconomic status and social support on violence against pregnant women who used prenatal services. This was a cross-sectional study based on data from the Brazilian Ribeirão Preto and São Luís birth cohort studies (BRISA). The sample of the municipality of São Luís (Maranhão/Brazil) consisted of 1,446 pregnant women interviewed in 2010 and 2011. In the proposed model, socioeconomic status was the most distal predictor, followed by social support that determined general violence, psychological violence or physical/sexual violence, which were analyzed as latent variables. Violence was measured by the World Health Organization Violence against Women (WHO VAW) instrument. The São Luis model was estimated using structural equation modeling and validated with 1,378 pregnant women from Ribeirão Preto (São Paulo/Brazil). The proposed model showed good fit for general, psychological and physical/sexual violence for the São Luís sample. Socioeconomic status had no effect on general or psychological violence (p>0. 05), but pregnant women with lower socioeconomic status reported more episodes of physical/sexual violence (standardized coefficient, SC = -0. 136; p = 0. 021). This effect of socioeconomic status was indirect and mediated by low social support (SC = -0. 075; p<0. 001). Low social support was associated with more episodes of general, psychological and physical/sexual violence (p<0. 001). General and psychological violence indistinctly affected pregnant women of different socioeconomic status. Physical/sexual violence was more common for pregnant women with lower socioeconomic status and lower social support. Better social support contributed to reduction of all types of violence. RESULTS
were nearly the same for the validation sample of Ribeirão Preto except that SES was not associated with physical/sexual violence.