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WE HAVE MANY BEAUTIFUL TRADITIONS;
FAMILY VIOLENCE IS NOT ONE OF THEM.

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Annotated Bibliography

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Walker, L.E.A. (1999). "Psychology and Domestic Violence Around the World." American Psychologist, 54(1), 21-29. Language: English

Psychologists around the world have made contributions in research, clinical assessment, and intervention and prevention of domestic violence. Each country has unique factors that determine the services and resources available to battered women, children exposed to domestic violence, and abusive partners. However, it is the interaction among gender, political structure, religious beliefs, attitudes toward violence in general, and violence towards women, as well as state-sponsored violence, such as civil conflicts and wars, and the migration within and between countries, that ultimately determine women's vulnerability and safety. This article reviews the latest psychological research and applications to intervention and prevention programs. An introduction to the various articles (in this issue of American Psychologist) that compose this international perspectives section is also included.

Weber, J. L., O’Brien, M., (1999). "Latino children’s responses to simulated interparental conflict." Cognitive Therapy and Research, 23(3), 247-270. Language: English

This study consisted of seventy Latino children from homes with physically aggressive and nonphysically aggressive marital conflict. These children reported affective, cognitive, and behavioral responses to simulated marital conflicts varying in intensity and content. The results from the study concluded that children who have witnessed marital violence expect more conflict escalation than do children who have not witnessed marital violence. The results also supported several aspects of the Grych and Fincham’s (1990) cognitive-contextual theory.

Wessel L., et al. (1997). "Providing Sanctuary for Battered Women: Nicaragua's Casas de la Mujer." Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 18(5), 455-476. Language: English

A combination of participant observation and in-depth interviews (ten with key informants and twenty-one with battered women) was used to investigate wife battering in Nicaragua and the Casas de la Mujer, or women's centers, that have been established to help abused women. The results are presented within the context of the historical and structural realities of women's lives in Nicaragua and the sanctions and sanctuary framework of cultural analysis of wife battering. Nicaraguan wife battering is exacerbated in the context of cultural traditions of acceptance of wife beating, machismo, and the recent history of warfare. Findings about the relationship context and intervention outcomes were similar to those found in studies of battered women and shelters in the United States. The results were generally supportive of the framework, demonstrating the importance of women's solidarity groups, community sanctions against domestic violence, and sanctuary for battered women.

West, C. M. (1998). "Lifting the “political gag order”: Breaking the silence around partner violence in ethnic minority families." In J. L. Jasinski & L. M. Williams (Eds.) Partner Violence: A Comprehensive Review of 20 years of Research (pp. 184-209

This chapter provides domestic violence prevalence rates for Latino/a, African American, and Asian American populations. West points out the discrepancies among studies and cites authors who have found no differences in rates of partner assaults between Mexican Americans and Anglos in community (Neff et al, 1995), clinical (Mirande & Pérez, 1987), and shelter (Torres, 1991) samples, as well as national surveys that have reported higher rates (Straus & Smith, 1990) and lower rates (Sorenson & colleagues, 1996) of partner abuse among Latino couples as compared to Anglo couples, using the Conflict Tactics Scale. The author points out possible methodological flaws, including the perception of Latinos/as as a homogeneous group and the use of only English-speaking participants. West also cites an article by Kaufman Kantor and her colleagues (1994) who conducted face-to-face bilingual interviews with a national probability sample that oversampled Latinos. Their findings indicate that Puerto Rican husbands were 2 times more likely than Anglo husbands and 10 times more likely than Cuban husbands to assault their partners.

West, C.M., Kantor, G.K. & Jasinski, J.L. (1998). "Sociodemographic Predictors and Cultural Barriers to Help-Seeking Behavior by Latina and Anglo American Battered Women." Violence and Victims, 13(4), 1-15. Language: English

Data from a national survey were used to investigate the help-seeking efforts of 1,970 Latinas (Mexican, Mexican American, Puerto Rican) and Anglo American women who experienced battering by intimate partners. The findings revealed that battered Latinas were significantly younger, less educated, and more impoverished than Anglo women. Additionally, Latinas more often categorized their marriages as male dominated and their husbands as heavy drinkers. Bivariate analyses showed that Latinas who sought help were significantly more acculturated and more likely to have a heavy drinking husband than those who did not seek help. Although battered women were active help seekers, Latinas underutilized both informal and formal resources relative to Anglo women, with Mexican women least likely to seek assistance. When sociodemographic predictors of help seeking were analyzed, being youthful and Anglo significantly increased the odds of help-seeking efforts. Low acculturation, as measured by preference for the Spanish language, was the only significant cultural barrier to help seeking by Latinas. ((c) 1999 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)

Wiist, W.H., & McFarlane, J. (1998). "Severity of Spousal and Intimate Partner Abuse to Pregnant Hispanic Women." Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 9(3), 248-261. Language: English

Abuse to pregnant women can result in complications to maternal and child health. This study assessed the severity of intimate male partner abuse to Hispanic pregnant women receiving prenatal care at an urban public health department. Subjects responded to the Severity of Violence Against Women Scale, and provided socio-demographic data. The mean age of the 329 pregnant, abused Hispanic women was 24 years (range 15-42 years). The women had an average of eight years of education, annual incomes of less than $10,000, and most spoke only Spanish. In all, 30% of the women had been threatened with death, 18% had been threatened with a knife or gun, 80% had been shaken or roughly handled, 71% pushed or shoved, and 64% slapped on the face and head. Pregnant, abused Hispanic women experience abuse of sufficient severity to pose a risk to maternal and child health. Prenatal care provides a window of opportunity for routine abuse assessment and counseling for low-income, Hispanic pregnant women. ((c) 1998APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)

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