228761 Acculturation and intimate partner violence among Latinas

Monday, November 8, 2010

Blanca M. Ramos, PhD , School of Social Welfare, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY
Elizabeth Racine, DrPH, RD , Health Behavior and Administration, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
Shanti Kulkarni, PhD, LCSW , Social Work, UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
IPV is a serious problem for women across ethnic boundaries. For Latinas, ethnocultural forces, such as acculturation level, influence how they define, perceive, and respond to IPV. Acculturation level may also increase their vulnerability to victimization. We examined the relationship between acculturation level and IPV in a community probability sample of Latinas currently in a romantic relationship. We used a cross-sectional, quasi-experimental survey design and recruited through referrals, flyers, churches, and community advocates. Women (N=106) were primarily of Mexican heritage (76.4%), low education (55.7% no high school degree), low income (49.1% <$0000 per year), and ages <35 (70.8%). Most chose to complete the survey in Spanish. Multivariate logistic regression analyses indicate a significant association between low-acculturation and IPV. Low-acculturated Latinas are 2 and a half times [Odds Ratio 2.52 (95% CI 1.02-6.28)] more likely to be victims of IPV than higher acculturated Latinas when controlled for age. For these Latinas, low acculturation may intersect with low education. This may signify closer adherence to traditional Latino gender roles and cultural values that reinforce a patriarchal family structure and sanction IPV. Isolation or lack of social support may be particularly acute placing them at high risk for victimization and restricting alternatives to the abusive situation. Implications for practice, policy, and research are discussed. For Latina victims, IPV exacerbates the profound oppression they already experience due to racism and sexism. Gaining a fuller understanding of their plight to inform policy is a critical social justice issue, and, thus, a public health imperative.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the role of acculturation level as a potential risk or protective factor for intimate partner violence in Latinas. 2. Formulate culturally responsive IPV public health intervention and preventive strategies for low-acculturated Latinas.

Keywords: Domestic Violence, Latinas

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the PI for this research project and have expertise on the content of the presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.