A mediation analysis of the linkages between climate variability, water insecurity, and interpersonal violence


Numerous studies have examined the effects of climate change on many aspects of both human health and violence. Fewer studies have investigated the links between climate change and intimate partner violence (IPV). We expand on this literature by examining the association between climate variability and IPV, including physical, sexual, and psychological forms of violence. We examine both direct associations and potential mediation via water insecurity, in a sample of women from 15 sub-Saharan African countries. Our results suggest there is a direct effect of climate variability on IPV but also that this effect is mediated through water insecurity. These results contribute to the literature by highlighting pathways through which climate change may affect IPV, including water insecurity, and changes in soil moisture and precipitation. Our findings are important for policy makers and international development organizations as they indicate specific areas where improvements to water insecurity can help reduce the incidence of IPV globally.

Publication Type
Journal Article
Amanda Ross, The University of Alabama
Elizabeth A. Mack, Michigan State University
Richard Marcantonio
Laura Miller-Graff
Amber L. Pearson
Audrey Culver Smith, University of Florida
Erin Bunting
Andrew Zimmer, The University of Arizona
Climate and Development

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