Date of Award

Summer 7-18-2017

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

First Advisor

Dr. Katherine Masyn

Second Advisor

Dr. Laura Salazar

Third Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Fielding-Miller



Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant, preventable, and complex health issue in the United States. Previous research on the prevalence of IPV has shown similar to higher rates of IPV among sexual minorities when compared to heterosexuals (with the exception of gay men). Despite these disparities, approximately 3% of available literature on IPV addresses the LGB community directly. Moreover, literature concerning injurious IPV tends to operate out of a heteronormative framework that primarily centers women as victims and their opposite-sexed partners as perpetrators. Considering that between one-fifth and one-third of sexual minorities reported being injured due to IPV victimization, further research into IPV injury risk factors among the LGB population are needed.


This study examined state, county, and individual level correlates of experiencing physical injury as a result of intimate partner violence. We used the social ecological model to explore predictors that could serve as risk or protective factors for acquiring a physical injury during a reported incident of intimate partner violence. The primary outcome of interest was injurious IPV within same-sex relationships compared to injurious IPV in opposite-sex couples. Individual IPV incidents were nested in counties and those counties were nested in states.


We found that, when controlling for global, contextual and demographic determinants, those victims in same-sex relationships have an increased odds of experiencing injurious IPV when compared to opposite-sex couples with a male perpetrator depending on the weapon type used during the incident.


Policy makers and researchers should push for more gender and LGB inclusive IPV discourse and services. They should also advocate for law enforcement and clinical training concerning IPV among sexual minorities to help reduce the severity of IPV among this population.

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