Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Sociology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Amie L. Nielsen

Second Committee Member

Alejandro Portes

Third Committee Member

Roger G. Dunham

Fourth Committee Member

Donna Coker


Several questions regarding the nature of intimate partner violence (IPV) have remained unanswered despite advancements in the field over the past several decades. Utilizing data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), this dissertation seeks to contribute to the existing literature by providing a multilevel examination of IPV, defined as two categories – physical and severe, that incorporated elements of recent field debates concerning immigration and gender. Specifically, this study examined the impact of nativity status and neighborhood immigrant concentration on IPV types, net of the effects of individual, couple and neighborhood factors, and incorporated social disorganization theory as a major theoretical framework. The purpose was to determine whether there are differences among native and immigrant populations in the risk of IPV and in the neighborhoods in which they reside. In addition, the analyses assessed whether the data evidenced gender symmetry in IPV. Multinomial logistic regression results indicated that immigrant status was significantly and positively associated with physical IPV perpetration, severe IPV victimization, and severe bidirectional IPV. Results also indicated that immigrant concentration was not significantly related to any of the IPV types. In terms of sex differences, females were significantly more likely to be perpetrators of physical IPV, victims of severe IPV and to participate in bidirectional physical IPV. Study findings suggested that while neighborhood context does play a small role in the likelihood of certain IPV types, individual-level factors are resilient predictors of this type of violence.


intimate partner violence; immigration; gender symmetry; immigrant concentration; social disorganization