The objective of this research is to analyse the prevalence of physical intimate partner violence (IPV) in ten developing countries in four regions as identified by the Demographics and Health Survey (DHS): Sub-Saharan Africa with Mali and Nigeria; North Africa/West Asia with Egypt and Jordan; South and Southeast Asia with Cambodia, Pakistan and the Philippines; and Latin America and the Caribbean with Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Peru. These countries are all tested with one primary research question: whether witnessing physical IPV in family-of-origin is associated with women’s experience of physical IPV in adulthood. Past research has shown reason to believe witnessing parental violence is a significant risk factor in IPV in many nations, but the influence of IPV in these developing countries has not been examined.
The results indicate that having witnessed physical IPV in one’s family-of-origin significantly increases the likelihood of experiencing later physical abuse, for respondents in all countries. By controlling for other factors, this finding provides robust support for the intergenerational transmission of violence theory, which explains the link between interparental aggression and physical IPV in subsequent relationships as a result of learned models of behaviour observed in childhood. Implications of this research for developing countries are also discussed.