Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 25-35

First online:

American Indian and European American Women’s Perceptions of Domestic Violence

  • Melissa TeheeAffiliated withUniversity of NebraskaUniversity of Arizona Email author 
  • , Cynthia Willis EsquedaAffiliated withUniversity of Nebraska

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American Indian and European American women’s definitions and perceived causes for domestic violence were examined. Attitudes towards violence and battering as it relates to the self were measured with two scales. As predicted, results indicated American Indian women and European American women held different conceptualizations of what constitutes domestic violence and different notions concerning the cause of domestic violence. Also, American Indian women were more attuned to external causes for violence, while European American women referred to internal explanations for such violence. Differences in social and psychological histories of violence and attitudinal orientations toward violence were indicated. Legal and health system changes are recommended in order to combat violence in Indian country.


Domestic violence American Indian women European American women American Indian culture