A Thematic Analysis of Barriers to and Facilitators of Wellbeing and Resource Access for IPV-Exposed, Pregnant Women in Mexico

Jessica R. Carney*, Cecilia Martinez-Torteya, Laura E. Miller-Graff, Hannah C. Gilliam, Kathryn H. Howell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy is prevalent in Mexico and is associated with deleterious effects on physical and mental health. This study explored barriers to, and facilitators of, wellbeing and access to resources for IPV-exposed, pregnant women living in Nuevo León, Mexico. Method: Participants were N = 43 individuals (n = 17 women receiving IPV or prenatal health services, n = 20 mental health professionals, and n = 6 medical professionals) who participated in nine focus groups in Nuevo León. Qualitative focus group data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Several barriers to women’s access to community resources and wellbeing were identified, including intrapersonal barriers, structural barriers, widespread violence exposure, and family expectations and power structures. Similarly, multiple facilitators of women’s wellbeing and access to resources emerged from the data, including women’s intrapersonal empowerment, support from women’s immediate social circles, and supports in the broader community. Conclusions: Results suggest that women in Nuevo León who experience IPV during pregnancy face significant barriers to accessing supports that could foster wellbeing. Women also possess inherent strengths and actively seek to supports that contribute to their resilience in the face of IPV. Intervention strategies should focus on ways to overcome common barriers experienced by IPV-exposed women, while incorporating strategies to bolster personal empowerment and connection with existing community resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1377-1389
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from Notre Dame International and Universidad de Monterrey. Data analysis was supported by a graduate student fellowship from the Eck Institute for Global Health at the University of Notre Dame. This research was approved by the Institutional Review Boards at the University of Notre Dame (#19–07-5462) and Universidad de Monterrey (#04–2020).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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