Journal Article

Measuring gender-based household maltreatment in urban slums of Mumbai, India

Emerging research has documented non-violent forms of abuse against wives in India. Gender-based household maltreatment (GBHM) has been linked to poor maternal and child health outcomes, but the measurement of GBHM requires statistical validation. The objective of this study is to evaluate a new measure of GBHM of women by husbands and in-laws during the perinatal period for validity and internal reliability (before, during, and post pregnancy). This study utilized cross-sectional quantitative data collected from women (n = 1,049) seeking immunizations for their infants < 6 months of age at large urban health centers in three major slum communities in Mumbai, India. After domain mapping and item consolidation, exploratory factor analysis identified a single factor among final scale items for each perinatal time period, with Velicer’s Minimum Average Partial (meeting criterion at < 0.065) confirming a single factor. Overall, the measure shows good internal reliability and both face and construct validity. On these merits, the measure should be assessed for utility in determining whether the more commonly reported non-violent forms of abuse act as a risk factor for poor maternal and child health outcomes.