Go to main content

FCDO ODA allocations for 2021/22 were announced on 21 April 2021. Changes to individual programmes are underway. The information on this website may not reflect the latest allocated budgets for this year. This information will be updated in due course.

  1. Home
  2. Global
  3. Contexts of Violence in Adolescence Cohort Study (CoVAC)

UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Contexts of Violence in Adolescence Cohort Study (CoVAC)

Disclaimer: The data for this page has been produced from IATI data published by UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Please contact them (Show Email Address) if you have any questions about their data.

Project Data Last Updated: 27/08/2020

IATI Identifier: GB-GOV-13-FUND--GCRF-MR_R002827_1


More than one in three adult women globally have experienced physical or sexual violence by their intimate partner. We know that risk of intimate partner violence in adulthood for both women and men is linked to childhood and adolescent experiences of violence. However, less is known about why this is, particularly in low and middle-income countries. Most research on why comes from North America and Europe, where the basic patterns of childhood and adolescent violence exposure are different to many low and middle income country settings, including Uganda. It is important to study why violence in childhood and adolescence and intimate partner violence in adulthood violence are linked so that we can figure out how to more effectively prevent violence across these time periods. Our study has three goals. The first is to get a better understanding of the patterns of prior violence exposure among young adolescents in Uganda, a low-income country setting. The second goal is to understand in more detail which types of violence exposure in early adolescence are associated with violence in later adolescence and young adulthood. The third is to explore how and why these associations occur, with a view to understanding how both characteristics of the individual, and characteristics of the contexts in which individuals find themselves, might amplify or interrupt these associations. In order to do this, we are intending to follow 3438 young adolescents over time. We plan to use a mixture of both survey methods with more in-depth interviews and observations to understand participants' views and practices in relation to violence and experiences of growing up in Uganda. We have already done one survey with young adolescents, their teachers and some of their caregivers in 2014, when the adolescents were aged 11-14 years. We will do a second survey in 2018, when the adolescents are aged 15-18 years, and a third survey in 2021 when they are 18-21 years. In our survey, we ask detailed questions about the use and experience of different forms of violence, the mental health of our participants, and about participants' relationships with different types of people, including romantic relationships. We will gather extensive data on participants' family, school, and other contexts where they spend time, and will analyse how these contexts can support the development of non-violent behaviour and relationships over time. Our qualitative study will involve in-depth work with a sub-sample of about 36 girls and boys, who reported varying experiences of violence in the 2014 survey, when they were 11-14 years, and who will also be followed up over time from 2018 until 2021. We will speak with these core participants individually, and with groups of friends, and conduct observations in and around the schools and communities where participants find themselves. Through building detailed biographical case studies with these young people, we hope to gain insight into how adolescents experience different forms of violence, and the ways in which their social relationships and networks influence their safety and perspectives and practices on violence. As well as working with this core group, we will collect data from a broader sample of young people, school staff, parents, community members and officials, as well as the broader political and socio-economic landscape, in order to analyse the ways in which the contexts in which young people live enhance risks or help protect young people from violence. This research will improve understanding of what types of mechanisms we can target to help effectively prevent violence across adolescence and into adulthood. Our findings will be new and interesting because very few longitudinal studies have been conducted across this age group, and even fewer in low income country settings. We plan to use these results directly to develop programming in Uganda.


Our main aims are: Aim 1. To examine the epidemiology and patterns of violence exposure in early adolescence. Quantitatively we will document patterns of self-reported exposure to violence over time, combining information on physical, sexual and emotional violence and neglect, timing, frequency, severity and perpetrator, and the 'normative nature' of the violence. Qualitatively we will explore how young people understand and interpret different forms and patterns of violence exposure, and what they perceive to be 'violence'. Our hypotheses for quantitative analyses are: 1.1 There will be an underlying patterning of violence exposure at Waves 1, 2 and 3 1.2 The patterns/groupings observed in Wave 1 will persist at Wave 2 and Wave 3 Aim 2 (Main aim for quantitative study). To understand which patterns of early adolescent exposure to violence are associated with violence use and experience in later adolescence and young adulthood. We will explore the magnitude of the association between different patterns of early adolescent violence exposure and late adolescent and early adult outcomes. Qualitatively, we will explore how young people's subjectivities, including their values, beliefs and practices, shape their responses to and are shaped by earlier experiences of different patterns of violence. Our hypothesis for quantitative analysis is: 2.1 The likelihood of use and experience of intimate partner violence at Wave 3 will differ by Wave 1 violence exposure group Aim 3. To explore the pathways by which violence in early adolescence, later adolescence and young adulthood are associated, and how context encourages or interrupts these associations. Quantitatively, we will explore whether exposure to specific individual and contextual factors mediate or moderate the relationship between early exposures and later use and experience of violence. Qualitatively, we aim to explore how family, peer and intimate partner relationships influence young people's responses to violence over time, including their capacity to stay safe and to sustain equitable beliefs. We will examine how school systems, practices and relationships influence girls' and boys' capacity to build or maintain anti-violence norms and practices over time, and how transitions to secondary school or out of school influence these processes. We will explore how community structures, norms and relationships, including religious and community justice systems, local provision of services, community organisations and access to media influence girls' and boys' perspectives and practices regarding violence. We will consider how the political economy of the macro-level context influences these processes. Our hypotheses for quantitative analysis are: 3.1 Being male or female will moderate the association between Wave 1 violence exposure and Wave 3 intimate partner violence use and experience 3.2 Whether Wave 1 violence exposure is considered socially normative will moderate the association between Wave 1 violence exposure and Wave 3 intimate partner violence use and experience 3.3 Mental health status at Wave 2 will mediate the association between Wave 1 violence exposure and Wave 3 intimate partner violence use and experience 3.4 Having a family with no violence between caregivers and no caregiver mental health issues at Wave 2 will mediate the association between Wave 1 violence exposure and Wave 3 intimate partner violence use and experience 3.5 Being more exposed to the Good School Toolkit will mediate the association between Wave 1 violence exposure and Wave 3 intimate partner violence use and experience 3.6 Staying in school will mediate the association between Wave 1 violence exposure and Wave 3 intimate partner violence use and experience We plan to explore other factors which may affect the relationship between early adolescent violence exposures and and later outcomes, using an ecosocial approach (these are outlined in Figure 2 of our Case for Support)

Status - Implementation More information about project status
Project Spend More information about project funding
Participating Organisation(s) More information about implementing organisation(s)

Sectors groups as a percentage of country budgets according to the Development Assistance Committee's classifications.


A comparison across six financial years of forecast spend and the total amount of money spent on the project to date.

This site uses cookies

We use Google Analytics to measure how you use the website so we can improve it based on user needs. Google Analytics sets cookies that store anonymised information about how you got to the site, the internal pages you visit, how long you spend on each page and what you click on while you're visiting the site. Read more