Masters Thesis

An Examination of Cultural Values and Intimate Partner Violence among Latina College Students

This study examined relationships between non-physical and physical intimate partner violence (IPV) and five different Latino cultural constructs among 87 Latina college students. the cultural constructs under investigation included machismo, caballerismo, marianismo, familismo, and fatalism . Correlational analyses were used to investigate relationships among IPV and these cultural values. Results indicated no statistical relationship between IPV and the cultural beliefs. Participants reported high endorsement of several cultural beliefs (caballerismo, familismo, the marianismo subscale “Family Pillar,” and fatalism ) and very little experience of IPV. Results from this study dispute previously held theories regarding a positive association between culture and intimate partner violence among Latinas (Bauer, Rodriguez, Quiroga, & Flores-Ortiz, 2000; Cuevas, Sabina, & Picard, 2010; Gonzalez-Guarda et al., 2013; Gonzalez-Guarda et al., 2010; Mattson & Ruiz, 2005). These findings have important implications for both future multicultural research and clinical work. for instance, future research might reconsider the assumption that Latino cultural beliefs influence whether or not a Latina experiences an abusive relationship. Additionally, while results did not support the hypothesized relationships, participants highly endorsed several cultural beliefs, which demonstrates that counselors, social workers, and other clinicians should not dismiss the importance of culture when working with this population.


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