Tanzanian youth, between the ages of 15 and 24 years, are a critical population to target with HIV prevention interventions since an estimated 150,000 Tanzanians are newly infected with HIV each year and AIDS remains the leading cause of death among Tanzanian youth. Research with young men and women has documented a clear association between HIV risk and intimate partner violence (IPV) and effectively intervening with youth to reduce IPV requires an in-depth understanding of its determinants. The goal of the proposed research and training fellowship is for the applicant to obtain the skills and experience to become an independent mixed methods global HIV and IPV researcher. The specific training goals of this fellowship are to 1) expand the applicant's quantitative skills to conduct multilevel modeling to examine both compositional and contextual influences and cross-level effect modification;2) increase the applicant's qualitative skills to analyze, interpret, and present results of qualitative research;and 3) build upon the applicant's training in quantitative and qualitative methods to further develop these skills with a particular focus on how to most effectively integrate the two methodologies and effectively present mixed method research findings. These goals will be accomplished through coursework, mentorship by the sponsor, Dr. Suzanne Maman, attendance of seminars and workshops, training in the responsible conduct of research, and through the execution of the proposed research project. The proposed research will be conducted within the context of the sponsor's NIMH R01, A Multilevel Intervention to Reduce HIV Risk Among Networks of Men in Tanzania (1R01MH098690-01). The parent study is evaluating an intervention with high-risk networks of young men who socialize in stable social clubs called "camps" in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The specific aims of the proposed research study are to 1) quantify the association between individual-level level risk factors (education, income, attitudes towards gender norms, attitudes towards IPV, and experience of violence as a child) and perpetration of IPV among young urban Tanzanian men;2) assess the degree to which variance in men's perpetration of IPV can be attributed to group-level factors (collective efficacy and equitable gender norms of the camps);3) test whether the group-level factors buffer the relationship between individual-level risk factors and perpetration of IPV;and 4) contextualize the attitudes and perpetration of IPV among young men and elaborate on the relationships and interactions found in the quantitative analysis by purposively sampling men and conducting in-depth interviews informed by the quantitative findings obtained by addressing Aims 1-3. By combining quantitative and qualitative methods in a mixed methods research plan, the proposed study will thoroughly assess and contextualize individual- and group-level predictors of IPV perpetration and will allow HIV-prevention efforts to effectively incorporate strategies to reduce perpetration of intimate partner violence among Tanzanian youth.
Prior research has documented a clear association between HIV risk and intimate partner violence, yet we know little about the causes or predictors of violence perpetration among young men in Africa. The proposed study will be the first to assess and contextualize the direct and interacting effects of group-level factors on perpetration of intimate partner violence among young Tanzanian men, a critical population to target with HIV prevention efforts.