National Estimates and Predictors of Intimate Partner Violence Among Adolescents and Young Adults in Uganda Disaggregated by Age and Gender

Ijeoma Nwabuzor Ogbonnaya, Lauren Reed, Eddy J. Walakira, Stephen Ojiambo Wandera, Lydia Najjemba Wasula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In sub-Saharan Africa, research regarding young people's intimate partner violence (IPV) experiences is scarce. We provide national estimates of the prevalence, characteristics, and correlates of IPV among adolescents (aged 13–19; n = 1,182) and young adults (aged 20–24; n = 1,648) living in Uganda. We analyzed the Uganda Violence Against Children Survey data. Descriptive statistics were conducted using age-and-gender stratified samples. We also examined logistic regression models using age-stratified samples and testing gender as a potential moderator. Descriptive results indicated higher lifetime physical IPV rates among young adults (24.7%) compared to adolescents (12.3%). We found no significant difference comparing adolescents' (16.9%) and young adults' (14.6%) lifetime sexual IPV rates. There were notable age group and gender differences when examining specific sexual IPV types and first physical and sexual IPV episode characteristics. Significant IPV correlates across both age groups included being widowed, divorced, or separated (adolescents: aOR = 4.6, 95% CI: 1.6–13.5; young adults: aOR = 5.2, 95% CI: 2.5–10.8), being female (adolescents: aOR = 3.9, 95% CI: 2.2–6.8; young adults: aOR = 3.0, 95% CI: 2.1–4.4), witnessing parental IPV (adolescents: aOR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.1–3.0; young adults: aOR = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.2–2.6), and poorer mental health levels (adolescents: aOR = 1.1, 95% CI: 1.04–1.1; young adults: aOR = 1.1, 95% CI: 1.1–1.1). Gender moderated the relationship between age and IPV, but only among adolescents (aOR = 1.4, 95% CI:1.1–1.9). IPV programs that are developmentally tailored for Ugandan young people are needed. These programs should promote gender equality and consider gender intersectionality. Policy changes around child maltreatment and early marriage must simultaneously occur for program success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Family Violence
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Domestic violence
  • Gender-based violence
  • Male victimization
  • Sexual assault
  • Spousal abuse
  • Teen dating violence
  • Uganda
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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