Determinants of intimate partner violence among young men who have sex with men: The P18 cohort study

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is an understudied health problem among young gay, bisexual, and other non-identified young men who have sex with men (YMSM). According to cross-sectional studies, IPV is associated with psychosocial and mental health problems, such as stigma and depression, among YMSM. IPV is also associated with health-risk behaviors, such as substance use, among this population. Yet, to date, no studies have used longitudinal data to examine determinants of IPV among YMSM. This gap in the extant literature is problematic, as it limits our understanding of how to intervene to interrupt cycles of violence. The aim of the present study was to examine longitudinal determinants of IPV among a sample of (N = 526) YMSM living in the New York City area. Longitudinal analyses using Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) were used to examine individual, relationship, mental health, psychosocial, and substance use factors in relation to IPV victimization and perpetration. Most notably, early experiences of IPV were a robust predictor of later experiences of IPV victimization and perpetration. Relationship status, depression, public gay-related stigma, and illicit substance use were associated with IPV victimization over time. Similarly, relationship status, depression, public gay-related stigma, marijuana, and other illicit substance were associated with IPV perpetration. These findings suggest that prevention programs and awareness campaigns should aim to reach YMSM before their first experiences of relationship violence, as these early experiences of violence are strongly linked to later experiences of violence. Also, IPV interventions should be tailored to the needs of YMSM and should target depressive symptoms, gay-related stigma, and substance use behaviors. Additionally, substance use interventions may be improved by addressing IPV. Finally, policymakers should support policies that improve the social climate for LGBTQ people, thereby reducing gay-related stigma, and potentially stemming violence against and among YMSM.

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Full citation:
Stults CB, Javdani S, Kapadia F, Halkitis PN (2021).
Determinants of intimate partner violence among young men who have sex with men: The P18 cohort study
Journal of Interpersonal Violence. doi: 10.1177/0886260519831374. PMCID: PMC8480546.