Predicting the vulnerability of women to intimate partner violence in South Africa: Evidence from tree-based machine learning techniques

Amusa, Lateef B., Bengesai, Annah V. and Khan, Hafiz T.A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1817-3730 (2020) Predicting the vulnerability of women to intimate partner violence in South Africa: Evidence from tree-based machine learning techniques. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. ISSN 0886-2605

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Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a pervasive social challenge with severe health and demographic consequences. Global statistics indicate that more than a third of women have experienced IPV at some point in their lives. In South Africa, IPV is considered a significant contributor to the country’s broader problem with violence, and a leading cause of femicide. Consequently, IPV has been the major focus of legislation and research across different disciplines. The present paper aims to contribute to the growing scholarly literature by predicting factors that are associated with the risk of experiencing IPV. We used the 2016 South African Demographic and Health Survey dataset and restricted our analysis to 1816 ever-married women who had complete information on the variables that were used to generate IPV. Prior research has mainly used regression analysis to identify correlates of IPV; however, while regression analysis can test a priori specified effects, it cannot capture unspecified inter-relationship across factors. To address this limitation, we opted for machine learning methods, which identify hidden and complex patterns and relationships in the data. Our results indicate that the fear of the husband is the most critical factor in determining the experience of IPV. In other words, the risk of IPV in South Africa is associated more with the husband or partner’s characteristics than the woman’s. Such models can then be used to develop interventions by different stakeholders such as social workers, policymakers and or other interested partners.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a peer-reviewed, pre copy-edited version of a paper [Amusa LB, Bengesai AV, Khan HTA, Predicting the Vulnerability of Women to Intimate Partner Violence in South Africa: Evidence from Tree-based Machine Learning Techniques, Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. DOI: 10.1177/0886260520960110.] that has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
Uncontrolled Keywords: intimate partner violence, machine learning, decision tree, South Africa
Subjects: Medicine and health > Health promotion and public health
Medicine and health > Health promotion and public health > Healthcare education
Medicine and health
Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Hafiz T.A. Khan
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2020 13:27
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2020 09:51
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/7274

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