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Davis, R.C., Erez, E. (1998). Immigrant Populations as Victims: Toward a Multicultural Criminal Justice System. Research in Brief (pp.1-20). U.S. Department of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice.

This publication summarizes a study that investigated whether the diverse cultural makeup of many communities requires the criminal justice system to modify its approach, particularly in handling recent immigrants. The study addressed a previously unexamined question–whether immigrant victims have a more difficult time than other victims in dealing with police and the courts because of differences in language, expectations, and treatment by officials. The consensus among officials who responded to the national survey and among the leaders of six ethnic communities whom researchers interviewed for this study is that many recent immigrants do indeed fail to report crimes. Many of the study participants saw this failure to report crimes as a serious problem, allowing criminals to go free and eroding the ability of the criminal justice system to function effectively. Cultural differences and ignorance of the U.S. justice system also discourage victims from coming to court. Respondents indicated that the language barrier poses no problem in communicating with officials, because interpreters often are available. However, they stated that immigrants have trouble understanding court proceedings conducted in English even when they are translated.

Dimmitt, J. (1995). Rural Mexican-American and Non-Hispanic White Women: Effects of Abuse on Self-Concept. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 2(2), (pp.54-63).

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This research arose from a clinical practice in a rural Mexican-American and non-Hispanic white community in Southwest Texas. The practice focused on individual and group counseling for these women in abusive relationships. Effects of type of abuse (physical, sexual, psychological) on self-concept were identified. Rural Mexican-American and non-Hispanic white women experiencing sexual abuse versus other forms of abuse were found to have significantly lower perceptions of competency on a multi-dimensional measure of self-concept. Ethnic differences in self-concept were also found between groups of abused, rural Mexican-American and non-Hispanic white women.

Dimmitt, J. (1996). Woman Abuse, Assimilation, and Self-Concept in a Rural Mexican American Community. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 18(4), (pp.508-522).

This article describes the effect of assimilation on self-concept and abuse in a rural, minority population of Mexican American women (aged 17-85 years). Ethnic language translations were developed to enable investigation with a rural, Spanish-speaking Mexican American population. Reassessment of reliability and validity of both English and Spanish translations of instrumentation for a rural population was also performed. Data were collected through convenience sampling from both rural battered women's shelters and rural community service centers. Significant differences were found between the 85 abused and the 84 non-abused women on dimensions of self-concept. Assimilation variables found to be significantly correlated with self-concept for abused and non-abused Mexican American women included language, attitudes toward traditional family structure, and values. Significant differences were found between abused and non-abused Mexican American women in attitudes toward traditional family structure and sex-role identification. ((c) 1997 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved).

Dimmitt, J. (1999). Effect of Abuse on Self-Perception of Rural Mexican-American and Non-Hispanic White Adolescents. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 13(1), (pp.12-18).

Developed a self-concept profile for 123 rural Mexican-American and 44 non-Hispanic White 13-18-yr-olds who have been physically, sexually, or psychologically abused. Students within a rural school district in the southwestern U.S. were administered the Adolescent Self-Perception Profile. The relevance of each self-concept domain to global self-worth was determined. Abused students reported significantly lower perceptions of Self-Worth, Scholastic Ability, and Behavioral Conduct than non-abused students. Differences were also found by ethnicity (Job Competence) and sex (Close Friendship, Athletic Ability). These results represent scientific, defensible reasons for related psychotherapeutic nursing interventions for adolescent abuse. This study proposed to refine the theoretical basis for interventions related to self-concept and woman abuse for rural Mexican American and non-Hispanic White adolescents. ((c) 1999 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved).


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