Significance: Economic coercion includes tactics by an intimate partner to control (often) a woman's ability to acquire, use, and maintain economic resources. Exposure to economic coercion threatens a woman's financial security, may co-occur with physical, sexual, or psychological intimate partner violence (IPV), and may have adverse social and health effects. Systematic efforts to measure economic coercion are recent in the U.S. and lagging in lower-income countries like Bangladesh, where women's expanding economic roles may spur economic coercion by men to reassert dominance.
Aims : Using a sequenced, mixed-methods study design, we will develop and psychometrically test a measure for economic coercion against wives in rural Bangladesh and then test whether women's empowerment program membership is associated with economic coercion. Data: The sample will be married residents 15?49 years (y) in 30 villages of Matlab sub-district. In formative research, we will conduct open-ended interviews (OIs), focus group discussions (FGDs), and cognitive interviews (CIs) with women (24 OIs, 4 FGDs, 20 CIs) and men (24 OIs, 4 FGDs) to elicit narratives about events of economic coercion and to refine existing and new survey items on economic coercion. In a probability sample of 900 married women 15?49 y, we will conduct a survey with final items on economic coercion; household and intra- household socioeconomic and demographic attributes; and exposure to psychological, physical, and sexual IPV. We will conduct post-survey CIs in a random subsample of 10 women to assess the face validity of the economic coercion scale. Method: With textual data from the OIs and FGDs, we will perform within-case narrative analysis and across-case grounded theory analysis to explore salient forms of economic coercion, its social and moral meanings for women and men, and its perceived causes. We will code and analyze the CI data for participants' comprehension, information retrieval, response motivations, and natural vs. given responses to refine survey items on economic coercion. With survey data, we will perform exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of responses to items on economic coercion in random-split samples of women (300:600) to assess scale dimensionally and model fit. From the full measure of economic coercion, we will derive a valid short-form for widespread use in national surveys. We will fit latent variable structural equation models (SEM) to test 1) convergent validity of the final factor(s) of the full economic coercion measure with measures of psychological, physical, and sexual IPV and 2) measurement invariance across theoretically salient groups (empowerment program member/nonmember). With SEM and propensity score adjustment, we will test whether women's prior program membership is associated with exposure to economic coercion. We will triangulate data from all sources to assess data validity. Impact: We will share our measures for economic coercion for cross-cultural validation, use in other?including U.S. federally funded?surveys, and impact evaluations of women's empowerment programs, all to guide progress toward Sustainable Development Goal 5, to empower women and girls.

Public Health Relevance

Global monitoring of Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG5)?to empower women and girls in part by eliminating violence against them?requires comprehensive data on all forms of violence against women. We will use a sequenced mixed-methods study design to develop and to validate comprehensive and short-form measures for women's exposure to economic coercion in rural Bangladesh. We will share this scale widely for cross-cultural validation, for use in other?including U.S. federally funded?surveys, and for use in empowerment-related intervention studies so that progress toward SGD5 may be more fully assessed.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Social Sciences and Population Studies A Study Section (SSPA)
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White, Della
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Emory University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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