Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dr. Jane A. Ungemack, Dr. Joseph A. Burleson

Field of Study

Public Health


Master of Public Health

Open Access

Open Access


Domestic violence is a public health problem globally and in India because of its physical and mental health consequences for victims and families. It has been shown to have an increased prevalence in populations with low socioeconomic status and strong patriarchal attitudes. This study examines qualitative (n=39) and quantitative data (n=1125) to find characteristics of women, men, and couples that are associated with violence in a low-income, patriarchal society on the outskirts of Mumbai, India. Associations were found between several variables and any violence, physical violence, sexual violence, emotional violence, and marital control. Risk factors include financial struggles, alcohol use, men’s unemployment, women’s employment, extramarital sex, pain with sexual intercourse, presence of extended family members, religious institutions, and unsupportive neighbors. Protective factors included interactions with NGOs or religious groups discussing women’s issues, responding calmly to arguments, and women’s empowerment to make purchasing or family size decisions. Overall, interventions that involve re-defining traditional gender norms are most promising for decreasing domestic violence, as deviation from strict family roles are often associated with increased violence.

Major Advisor

Dr. Stephen L. Schensul