Reducing Maternal Intimate Partner Violence After the Birth of a Child: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Hawaii Healthy Start Home Visitation Program




Megan G. Bair-Merritt, Jacky M. Gennings, Rusan Chen, Lori Burrell, Elizabeth McFarlane, Loretta Fuddy, and Anne K. Duggan

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Other Models


Objectives: To estimate whether home visitation beginning after child birth was associated with changes in average rates of mothers' intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization and perpetration, as well as rates of specific IPV types (physical assault, verbal abuse, sexual assault, injury) during the 3-years of program implementation and during 3-years of long-term follow-up.

Design: Randomized controlled trial

Setting: Oahu, Hawaii

Participants: 643 families with an infant at high-risk for child maltreatment born between November 1994 and December 1995.

Intervention: Home visitors provided direct services and linked families to community resources. Home visits were to initially occur weekly and to continue for at least three years.

Outcome Measures: Women's self-reports of past year IPV victimization and perpetration using the Conflict Tactics Scale. Blinded research staff conducted maternal interviews following the child's birth, and annually when children were 1–3 years and then 7–9 years old.

Results: During program implementation, intervention mothers as compared to control mothers reported lower rates of IPV victimization (Incidence Rate Ratio [IRR], 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.73,1.01) and significantly lower rates of perpetration (IRR, 0.83; 95% CI 0.72,0.96). Considering specific IPV types, intervention women reported significantly lower rates of physical assault victimization (IRR, 0.85; 95% CI 0.71,1.00) and perpetration (IRR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.70,0.96). During long-term follow-up, rates of overall IPV victimization and perpetration decreased with non-significant between-group differences. Verbal abuse victimization rates (IRR, 1.14, 95% CI 0.97,1.34) may have increased among intervention mothers. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Interviews
  • Standardized assessment tools


For More Information

Bair-Merritt, M.H., et. al, (2011) Reducing maternal intimate partner violence after the birth of a child: a randomized controlled trial of the hawaii healthy start home visitation program, Arch Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 164(1), 16-23.
doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.237
Author contact information:
Megan Bair-Merritt


  • Participant Characteristics
  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes