Do family order and neighbor intervention against intimate partner violence protect children from abuse? Findings from Kathmandu

Clifton R. Emery, Sirjana Thapa, Mi Hyang Do, Ko Ling Edward Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on previous research on intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, and informal social control, we hypothesized relationships between child abuse severity and (1) protective informal social control of intimate partner violence (ISC_IPV) by neighbors, (2) intimate terrorism, (3) family order, and (4) the power of mothers in intimate relationships. In what we believe may be a first study of physical child abuse by parents in Nepal, we used a three stage cluster approach to draw a random sample of 300 families in Kathmandu. Random effects regression models were used to test the study hypotheses. The analyses found support for hypotheses one and two, but with an important caveat. Although observed (actual) protective ISC_IPV had the hypothesized negative association with child abuse severity, in one of our models perceived protective ISC_IPV was positively associated with child abuse severity. The models clarify that the overall direction of protective ISC_IPV appears to be negative (protective), but the positive finding is important to consider for both research and practice. A significant relationship between family order and child abuse severity was found, but the direction was negative rather than positive as in hypothesis three. Implications for neighborhood research and typological research on IPV and child maltreatment are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-181
Number of pages12
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Informal social control
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Nepal
  • Physical child abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this