Culture and Domestic Violence: The Ecology of Abused Latinas

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This study examined the predictors of domestic violence within a sample of 60 immigrant Latinas, of whom 30 had sought assistance for abuse and 30 had sought other family services. Hypotheses were derived from several frameworks relevant to understanding abuse—intrapsychic (learned helplessness), interpersonal (family violence), and feminist theory. Findings related to the specific formulations were subsequently combined into a model of abuse in which the mutuality of communication within the couple mediates the effects of husband's intoxication and environmental stressors on the occurrence/severity of abuse. The study points out the inadequacy of relying on any one existing theory and supports the idea of taking an ecological approach to the study of abuse in specific populations.

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