Determinants of witnessed parental physical violence among university students in transitional Albania

Genc Burazeri*, Gentiana Qirjako, Enver Roshi, Helmut Brand

*Corresponding author for this work

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We aimed to assess the extent and the socioeconomic correlates of witnessed parental physical violence among university students in Albania, a country in transition from rigidly structured socialism to a market-oriented system. 2797 students (93% of all students) at the Medical Faculty, Tirana, filled out an anonymous structured questionnaire in April-June 2009. Information on witnessed father-to-mother physical violence during childhood and/or adolescence and sociodemographic and socioeconomic data were collected. The association of witnessed parental violence with socioeconomic factors was assessed with multivariable-adjusted logistic regression. 736 (26.7%) of students witnessed father-to-mother physical violence, and 36 (1.3%) reported 'very often' witnessing episodes. In multivariable-adjusted models, independent predictors of witnessed violence were: low family income [odds ratio (OR) = 2.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.7-3.2], rural origin (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.5-2.5), father's lower education and unemployment (OR = 5.4, 95% CI = 4.1-7.1 and OR = 2.5, 95% CI = 1.9-3.2, respectively) and mother's educational and employment advantage compared with the spouse (OR = 2.7, 95% CI = 1.9-3.8 and OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.6-2.8, respectively). Father's socioeconomic disadvantage and mother's socioeconomic empowerment were each independently related to increased risk for witnessed father-to-mother physical violence among university students in this transitional patriarchal society. Health professionals in post-communist Albania should be aware of the ways in which witnessed domestic violence influences physical and psychological health of young adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-30
JournalJournal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Albania
  • muslim
  • patriarchal society
  • physical violence
  • students
  • transitional post-communist country
  • witnessed parental violence

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