Acculturation and Associated Effects on Abused Immigrant Women’s Safety and Mental Functioning: Results of Entry Data for a 7-year Prospective Study
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- Nava, A., McFarlane, J., Gilroy, H. et al. J Immigrant Minority Health (2014) 16: 1077. doi:10.1007/s10903-013-9816-6
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Intimate partner violence has negative effects on women’s safety and wellbeing. When immigrant women are victimized the danger and poor health may intensify. The purpose was to determine the impact of acculturation on severity of violence, danger for murder, mental health functioning, and safety behaviors of abused immigrant women. Entry data of a 7-year prospective study of 106 abused immigrant women who were first time users of safe shelter or justice services is presented. The interview included the Severity of Violence Against Women Scale, Danger Assessment, Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), Safety Behavior Checklist, and Acculturation for Hispanics instruments. A significant (p < 0.05) positive correlation between acculturation and safety behaviors and BSI scores was established. Higher acculturation scores were associated with significantly more practiced safety behaviors and higher levels of depression. Understanding the specific needs of abuse immigrant women associated with acculturation is imperative to develop interventions to interrupt abuse and promote safety and mental well-being.