Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Nursing (Nursing)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Gail C. McCain

Second Committee Member

Rosa Gonzalez Guarda

Third Committee Member

Zanita E. Fenton

Fourth Committee Member

Nelda (Nena) P. Peragallo


IPV is the most common cause of violence-related injury to women in the United States and greater than one-third of all female homicide victims in the U.S. were killed by the victims' husband or partner. Nationally, intimate partner violence (IPV) has been identified as a public health issue, and internationally gender inequality is the number one human rights issue. In addition to risk factors identified among multicultural samples, characteristics that increase Latina vulnerability to IPV may relate to the specific cultural scripts between partners that are expected and supported within Latino culture. Latinas in the United States are affected by a confluence of risk factors for IPV including power imbalances associated with traditional gender roles (machismo, the stereotypical male role, and marianismo, the traditional female role), acculturation, socioeconomic status and education level. Vulnerability to coercive control behaviors resulting in IPV from a partner may be increased if the woman has a previous history of child sexual abuse (CSA). A secondary analysis of selected data from a three year parent study, SEPA II (Salud, Educacion, Prevencion y Autocuidado; Health, Education, Prevention and Self-Care), was undertaken to explore the relationships between CSA, machismo, marianismo, acculturation, socioeconomic status and education on the severity and occurrence of IPV among 548 adult Latinas between the ages of 18 and 50. Selected data elements were analyzed from the Short Form of the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS2S), the Violence Assessment Questionnaire (VAQ), the M-Measure (machismo), the Attitudes toward Women Scale (marianismo), the Bidimensional Acculturation Scale for Hispanics (BAS) and baseline demographic measures collected on the El Centro Intake Form. Correlations were done to examine the relationships among IPV, CSA, machismo, marianismo, acculturation, SES and education. Logistic regression was used to determine if women who report IPV are more likely to also report a history of CSA, more traditional gender role beliefs, higher levels of acculturation, lower SES and higher education. CTS2S (severity of violence) was significantly correlated with CSA, and the non-Hispanic domain of the BAS. The VAQ measure of violence (occurrence of physical violence > 18 years) also was significantly correlated with CSA, negatively correlated with the Hispanic domain, positively correlated with the Non-Hispanic domain of the BAS, and negatively correlated with monthly income. CSA was negatively associated with the Hispanic domain, positively correlated with the non-Hispanic domain and negatively correlated with years of education. Traditional gender roles did not influence the occurrence or severity of violence in this study. CSA was a significant predictor of IPV among Latinas. Hispanic domain (acculturation) and higher monthly income were protective against IPV among Latinas. Childhood sexual abuse, identification with non-Hispanic culture and decreased SES were found to increase vulnerability to IPV among Latinas. There is a need to design and test interventions and support systems for women that are contextually structured to acknowledge the family and community values as well as the individual needs of Latinas. Interpreting responses to violence for Latinas within the larger context of equality for women becomes part of an international focus aimed at ending gender based violence.


Theory Synthesis; Substruction; Regression; Latina