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Experience of Intimate Partner Violence Among U.S. Born, Immigrant and Migrant Latinas

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2005
102 pages
This study analyzed the prevalence and patterns of intimate partner violence (IPV) among migrant, immigrant, and United States born Latinas and identified the risk and protective factors for IPV among this group.
While researchers have been studying violence against women since at least the 1970s, little is known about its occurrence in the Latino population. The current study employed a quasi-experimental approach to assess the prevalence and patterns of IPV among three stratified groups of Latina women: (1) migrants or seasonal workers; (2) immigrants; and (3) U.S. born Latinas. The sample of 291 predominantly Mexican-American Latinas was randomly selected from a list of clients kept by a large primary health care organization serving low-income Latinas in California. Participants completed a survey interview in which they provided information on IPV experiences and on cultural, socioeconomic, psychological, family functioning, social problem, and social support network factors influencing IPV. Results of statistical analyses indicated a high rate of lifetime and past year experiences of IPV among the three groups. Correlates of IPV were having a partner with substance abuse, childhood experiences of IPV in women’s families of origins, and experiences of childhood sexual abuse. Rates of IPV differed between the Latina groups, with U.S. born Latinas experiencing the highest rate of IPV followed by migrant Latinas. Recommendations for intervention practices are offered, including the importance of early screening among Latina populations and among children who may be exposed to IPV in their homes. Future research should continue to focus on IPV in Latina populations, particularly in terms of how cultural factors influence the occurrence of IPV. References, appendixes, tables

Date Published: June 1, 2005