Intimate partner violence among puerto rican women: Does acculturation mediate the effect of psychological abuse on mental health?
Intimate partner violence against woman (IPV) is an insidious health and social problem that must be addressed locally and globally. Its detrimental consequences on the mental health of abused women have been documented. Few studies have focused on Latinas and considered culturally relevant variables that could affect IPV-mental health relationships. This study examined whether acculturation mediates the effect of psychological abuse on depression and anxiety among Puerto Rican women. The study used a cross-sectional survey design and a convenient sample of Puerto Rican women (N=153). Their mean age was 33.6, 55.6% had an annual household income below $14,999, 42.3% had not completed high school, and 72% were born in Puerto Rico; 47.7% completed the surveys in English and 52.3% in Spanish. Initial regression analyses, controlling for age, income and education, showed that psychological abuse was associated with depression (b=.166, p<.05) and anxiety (b=.181, p<.05). When acculturation was added to the models, the effects of psychological abuse on mental health became non-significant. Acculturation was significantly related to depression (b= -1.676, p<.05) and anxiety (b= -2.449, p<.01) indicating that the effects of psychological abuse on depression and anxiety were fully mediated by acculturation. Low acculturation was a risk factor for mental health distress for women with high psychological abuse scores. The findings shed light on the role of acculturation as a risk or protective factor for mental health among women from diverse ethnic groups experiencing psychological abuse. They can help advance effective culturally responsive practice and inform program development and future research.
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Discuss psychological abuse and its potential harmful effects on the mental health of abused women.
Discuss the potential role of acculturation as a risk or protective factor for mental health distress among Puerto Rican women and other Latinas experiencing psychological abuse.
Articulate culturally responsive strategies that could help low acculturated Latinas recognize and address psychological abuse.
Keyword(s): Immigrant Domestic Violence, Latinas
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