The Effect of Immigration and Acculturation on Victimization Among a National Sample of Latino Women

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The current study examined the effect of immigrant status, acculturation, and the interaction of acculturation and immigrant status on self-reported victimization in the United States among Latino women, including physical assault, sexual assault, stalking, and threatened violence. In addition, immigrant status, acculturation, gender role ideology, and religious intensity were examined as predictors of the count of victimization among the victimized subsample. The Sexual Assault Among Latinas (SALAS) Study surveyed 2,000 adult Latino women who lived in high-density Latino neighborhoods in 2008. The present study reports findings for a subsample of women who were victimized in the United States (n = 568). Immigrant women reported significantly less victimization than U.S.-born Latino women in bivariate analyses. Multivariate models showed that Anglo orientation was associated with greater odds of all forms of victimization, whereas both Latino orientation and being an immigrant were associated with lower odds of all forms of victimization. Latino orientation was more protective for immigrant women than for U.S.-born Latino women with regard to sexual victimization. Among the victimized subsample, being an immigrant, Anglo acculturation, and masculine gender role were associated with a higher victimization count, whereas Latino orientation and religious intensity were associated with a lower victimization count. The findings point to the risk associated with being a U.S. minority, the protective value of Latino cultural maintenance, and the need for services to reach out to Anglo acculturated Latino women.

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