A principal component analysis (PCA) of the 12 acts of violence and their frequency (never, sometimes, often), corresponding to the 12 items in the ‘perpetrated IPV’ questionnaire section was conducted. The Promax rotation technique, which takes into account correlation between factors, was implemented to improve the fit of the data [37]. The PCA resulted in three scores of IPV, which were standardized and computed using values ranging from 0 to 1. These three scores corresponded to three forms of IPV which we defined as follows (S1 Table): i) psychological and physical IPV (PPV), which included 5 items (humiliation, insults or belittlement, threats, shoving or pushing or object throwing, slapping; eigenvalue = 3.2, Cronbach’s α = 0.83); ii) severe physical IPV (SPV), which included 5 items (shoving or pushing or object throwing, slapping, arm twisting or hair pulling, punching or hitting, kicking or dragging or beating up; eigenvalue = 2.3, Cronbach’s α = 0.69); iii) sexual IPV (SV) which included 2 items (forced sexual intercourse and any forced sexual act; eigenvalue = 1.8, Cronbach’s α = 0.62). No respondent reported choking or burning a partner, or using or threatening to use a gun, knife or other weapon against a partner. The standardized scores were considered very reliable and reliable, respectively, when the Cronbach α value was ≥0.7 and [0.5; 0.7] [38, 39]. The three IPV scores explained 73% of the cumulative variance.

For each standardized IPV score a three-class variable (corresponding to our three study outcomes) reflecting the level of violence perpetrated was built using the following individual score cut-offs: score = 0 (no PPV, SPV or SV, as relevant), score <median among non-zero values (moderate level, as relevant) and score ≥median among non-zero values (high level, as relevant).

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