International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 679–689

Neighbourhood context and abuse among immigrant and non-immigrant women in Canada: findings from the Maternity Experiences Survey

  • Nihaya Daoud
  • Patricia O’Campo
  • Marcelo L. Urquia
  • Maureen Heaman
Original Article



To examine the relationship between neighbourhood deprivation and concentration of immigrants, and abuse among immigrant women versus non-immigrant women.


Using data from the Canadian Maternity Experiences Survey (un-weighted sample N = 5,679 and weighted sample N = 68,719) linked to the neighbourhoods Census data, we performed contextual analysis to compare abuse prevalence among: immigrants ≤5 years, immigrants >5 years and Canadian-born. We identified two level effect modifiers: living in high (≤15 % of households at or below low-income cut-off- [LICO]) versus low-income (>15 % below LICO) neighbourhoods and living in high (≥25 %) versus low immigrant (<25 %) neighbourhoods. Individual socioeconomic position (SEP), family variables and neighbourhood SEP or percentage of immigrants were considered in different logistic regression models.


Immigrant women were less likely to experience abuse even upon adjustment for individual SEP, family variables and neighbourhood characteristics. The protective effect of the neighborhood was stronger among immigrant women living in low-income and high immigrant neighborhoods, irrespective of length of stay in Canada.


Policies and interventions to reduce abuse among immigrant women need to consider neighbourhood’s SEP and concentration of immigrants.


Abuse against women Abuse during pregnancy Violence Immigrant women Canada Neighbourhood socioeconomic position Neighbourhood immigrant concentration 

Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nihaya Daoud
    • 1
    • 2
  • Patricia O’Campo
    • 2
    • 3
  • Marcelo L. Urquia
    • 2
  • Maureen Heaman
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Health Services Evaluation, Faculty of Health SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.Centre for Research on Inner City Health, The Keenan Research Centre in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge InstituteSt. Michael’s HospitalTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Faculty of NursingUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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