The relationship between housing instability and intimate partner violence: A retrospective study

Patty R. Wilson, Roland J. Thorpe, Phyllis Sharps, Kathryn Laughon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationship between housing instability (HI) and intimate partner violence (IPV) over time, controlling for individual, situational, and social structural factors among women and to determine whether race/ethnicity modifies these relationships. Design and Sample: The study was a retrospective secondary data analysis from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study. The sample included women who reported their housing status at year 5, yielding 4,000 women. Measures: Housing instability was our main independent variable. Our dependent variable of IPV was divided into two categories: no IPV or IPV overtime (IPV reported at baseline, year 1 and year 5). Results: Women were more likely to report HI if they were between the ages of 20–24 (36%), Black (53.2%), did not graduate from high school (48.6%), and were employed with an income of less than $10,000 USD (69%). Race/ethnicity was not found to influence the association between HI and IPV overtime. Conclusions: Women in their early to mid-twenties, with a low level of education and are employed at low-wage jobs have an increased risk for HI and experiencing IPV. Therefore, nurses need to move beyond traditional assessments and screening to elicit information that will help determine increased risk for HI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Black women
  • housing instability
  • intimate partner violence
  • poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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