IPV among Mexican American Females


Hero - Mariah Carey
Intimate partner violence is abuse that occurs between people in close relationships. IPV usually begins with emotional abuse which then typically leads to much more harmful abuse. One of the main problems that exist with IPV is that many of the victims do not report the abuse. IPV is a global problem but my focus will be on the physical abuse among Mexican American women. Minority groups are often understudied when it comes to involvement in aggressive and violent behaviors and studies of Hispanic family violence are rare. Research has shown that Hispanic American husbands assault their wives at a greater rate than Anglo American husbands. Studies have shown that U.S. born Mexican American men have self reported higher perpetration rates of IPV than those born in Mexico. There may be higher levels of stress in the Mexican family due to acculturation. Acculturation is the extent to which an immigrant group takes on the norms and behavior patterns of the host society. Traditional Mexican culture may start to deteriorate which could lead to higher levels of stress, resulting in violence. Although women of Mexican origin born in the U.S. may have higher education levels, fewer children, more social groups, and higher income, they are at higher risk. This could be due to higher levels of acculturation and gender roles in Mexican tradition. Hispanic women of lower socioeconomic status tend to have more traditional role ideologies than those of higher socioeconomic status. High abuse rates among Mexican American women may be tied to stresses associated with acculturation.

Horizontal Rule
Horizontal Rule


There have been many research studies on domestic violence but few have specifically focused on Mexican American couples. Research has shown that Hispanic American husbands abuse their wives at a higher rate than Anglo American men. This may be tied to the fact that Mexican Americans generally have less education, lower incomes, and lower job statuses. Acculturation plays a role in how Mexican Americans adjust to a new culture. Acculturation is the extent to which an immigrant group takes on the norms and behavior patterns of the host society. In traditional Mexican families, males dominate the relationship. The women are the care givers and usually work at home, leaving them financially dependent on their partner. Studies have also shown that the higher acculturated Mexican Americans are, the higher the rate for abuse is. This may be linked to the deterioration of the traditional Mexican family. Stress levels go up as women take on different roles in order to adjust to a new society. The male may feel threatened by his lack of authority over the family, which could put the woman at risk of being abused. Each individual family member takes on different levels of acculturation which may provoke tension. Studies have also shown that couples with lower socioeconomic status may experience more severe levels of abuse because frustrations are higher. They are also more likely to have more traditional gender role ideologies than persons of higher socioeconomic status. Levels of relationship satisfaction must be considered. If the highly acculturated couple is fine with the changes in gender roles and changing beliefs, the woman is less likely to experience abuse by her partner. If there is conflict and the acculturation causes more stress than good for the couple, the women is more at risk.
Prevention and Awareness
Prevention and awareness is increasing. More studies are being done to shed light on the violence among different ethnic groups. There is positive correlation between witnessing intimate partner abuse as child and the likely hood of being a victim. Promoting strategies that encourage and educate young adults to have healthy relationships can play a vital role in prevention. Men and women can mentor young adults by modeling non violent relationships. Culturally specific initiatives are also useful. Programs that are specifically intended to help Mexican American women can provide safety and comfort for the victim. Culturally appropriate services should be implemented. Such as classes that teach Mexican American couples how to deal with conflict in a non violent manner.


Taking a stand to decrease or even diminish violence against Mexican American women is vital to the safety and success of their future. IPV is a serious problem that should not be ignored or accepted. Community based prevention should be aimed at this ethnic group and increased attention should be paid to them and the prevention of the abuse as well as among other ethnic groups.

1.) Introduction:
a.) High abuse rates among Mexican American women may be tied to stresses associated with acculturation.

2.) History/Background
a.) Lifetime prevalence of IPV among Mexican Americans
1.) studies
2.) statistics
b.) Factors associated with abuse
1.) Acculturation
2.) Education
3.) Children
4.) Socioeconomic status
5.) Relationship satisfaction
c.) Mexican American gender roles
1.) Traditional roles of males and females
d.) Current Statistics and Studies

3.) Prevention and Awareness
a.) Programs available to help women in need
1.) Culturally specific initiatives
b.) Discussing attitudes and beliefs on what constitutes IPV
1.) promoting strategies that encourage and educate women to have healthy relationships
c.) Recognizing patterns of abusers
1.) examine relationship power structures

4.) Conclusion
a.) More awareness and prevention needs to be implemented in order to lower or even diminish IPV


1.) Viano, Emilio. Intimate Violence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Washington D.C.:
Hemisphere Publishing Corporation, 1992. Print.
2.) Feindler, Rathus. Assessment of Partner Violence. Washington D.C.:
American Psychological Association, 2004. Print.
3.)Lambert, Linda. Intimate Violence Among Mexican American Couples.
San Antonio: 1999. Print.
4.) "Hispanic and Latina Domestic Violence Resources." Aardvarc.org
632004 60. Web.4 May 2009. <http://www.aardvarc.org/dv/hispanic.shtml>.
5.) Vega, William. "B S T R A C T March 2001, Vol. 91, No. 3 American
Journal of Public Health 441 Prevalence and Predictors of
Physical Partner Abuse Among Mexican American Women.
American Public Health Association. 2001 Public Health.
4 May 2009 <http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1446622>.
6.) "Intimate Partner Violence: Fact Sheet." MedicineNet (2005) Web.4 May 2009.
7.) "Violence Against Women." Womenshealth.gov (2009) Web.4 May 2009.
Rivera, Jenny,Domestic Violence Against Latinas by Latino Males: An Analysis of Race, National Origin, and Gender Differentials(June 1, 1994).
Boston College Third World Law Journal, Vol. 14, No. 231, 1994. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1294640