Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Violence against mothers linked to 1.8 million female infant and child deaths in India

Date:
January 5, 2011
Source:
Harvard School of Public Health
Summary:
The deaths of 1.8 million female infants and children in India over the past 20 years are related to domestic violence against their mothers, according to a new study.

The deaths of 1.8 million female infants and children in India over the past 20 years are related to domestic violence against their mothers, according to a new study led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). In their examination of over 158,000 births occurring between 1985 and 2005, the researchers found that husbands' violence against wives increased the risk of death among female children, but not male children, in both the first year and the first five years of life.

"Being born a girl into a family in India in which your mother is abused makes it significantly less likely that you will survive early childhood. Shockingly, this violence does not pose a threat to your life if you are lucky enough to be born a boy," said lead author Jay Silverman, associate professor of society, human development, and health at HSPH.

The authors attribute this disparity to lower investment in girl children in such areas as nutrition, immunization and care for major causes of infant and child death (e.g., diarrhea and respiratory infections). This neglect of girl infants and children is likely to be most pronounced in families in which the status of women is the lowest, that is, in those families in which women are physically abused by their husbands. Based on the study findings, they urge that violence against women be considered a critical priority within programs and policies to improve child survival, particularly those working to increase the survival of girls.

The article appeared online January 4, 2011 in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, and will appear in the January print edition.

Currently, 2.1 million children die in India each year, and the nation is not on-track to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of a two-thirds reduction in child mortality from 1990 levels by 2015. The authors assert that violence against mothers and the associated gender-based mistreatment of female infants and children may represent major barriers preventing India from reaching this goal. "Family violence against women in India must be vigorously challenged, given that even a very small reduction in this abuse may lead to the saving of tens of thousands of lives of girl infants and children," said Silverman.

Other authors include Anita Raj, professor of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health; Michele Decker, assistant professor of population, family and reproductive health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Niranjan Saggurti, senior program officer at the Population Council (New Delhi); and Balaiah Donta, deputy director of the Indian National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health.

This study was supported by the Eunice Kenney Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and by the Indian Council of Medical Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jay G. Silverman, Michele R. Decker, Debbie M. Cheng, Kathleen Wirth, Niranjan Saggurti, Heather L. McCauley, Kathryn L. Falb, Balaiah Donta, Anita Raj. Gender-Based Disparities in Infant and Child Mortality Based on Maternal Exposure to Spousal Violence. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, vol. 165, no. 1, online Jan. 4, 2011

Cite This Page:

Harvard School of Public Health. "Violence against mothers linked to 1.8 million female infant and child deaths in India." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110105152006.htm>.
Harvard School of Public Health. (2011, January 5). Violence against mothers linked to 1.8 million female infant and child deaths in India. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110105152006.htm
Harvard School of Public Health. "Violence against mothers linked to 1.8 million female infant and child deaths in India." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110105152006.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins