Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 50, Issue 7, pp 1135–1144 | Cite as

The association between immigrant generational status, child maltreatment history and intimate partner violence (IPV): evidence from a nationally representative survey

  • Melissa Kimber
  • Christine A. Henriksen
  • Danielle M. Davidov
  • Abby L. Goldstein
  • Nicole Y. Pitre
  • Lil Tonmyr
  • Tracie O. AfifiEmail author
Original Paper



The extent to which immigrant-specific factors influence the intergenerational transmission of family violence is unknown. The objectives of this paper are to examine the associations between immigrant generational status (IGS), child maltreatment (CM), intimate partner violence (IPV) and acculturation (i.e., the extent to which an individual adopts the values, language and attitudes of a new culture).


The sample was drawn from wave two of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC; n = 34,653), a nationally representative survey of United States (US) residents aged 20 years and older. Logistic regression was used to estimate the associations between IGS, CM history, IPV, and acculturation.


Compared to 3rd generation (or later) respondents, 1st generation immigrants were less likely to report a history of sexual (AOR = 0.74, CI0.95 = 0.62, 0.90) and emotional abuse (AOR = 0.69, CI0.95 = 0.55, 0.87), but were more likely to report physical neglect (AOR = 1.30, CI0.95 = 1.11, 1.52). After adjusting for covariates, IGS was not associated with IPV among respondents with or without a CM history. Among those without a CM history, highly acculturated 1st generation immigrants (AOR = 1.07, CI0.95 = 1.01, 1.13) were more likely to report perpetrating IPV, with highly acculturated 3rd generation respondents having lower odds of reporting IPV perpetration (AOR = 0.93, CI0.95 = 0.88–1.00).


IGS and acculturation are important factors in CM and IPV. Longitudinal studies are needed to clarify the influence of IGS, recency of immigration, acculturation and acculturative stress on the experiences and relationship between CM and IPV.


Intimate partner violence Child maltreatment history Immigrant status Acculturation Gender differences 



This research was supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Preparation of this article was supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator Award (T. Afifi) and a Manitoba Health Research Council Establishment Award (T. Afifi).

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that none of the authors have commercial or other financial relationships relevant to the content of this manuscript.

Supplementary material

127_2014_1002_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 13 kb)


  1. 1.
    Beydoun HA et al (2012) Intimate partner violence against adult women and its association with major depressive disorder, depressive symptoms and postpartum depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Soc Sci Med 75(6):959–975PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Norman RE et al (2012) The long-term health consequences of child physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med 9(11):e1001349PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Afifi TO et al (2011) Childhood adversity and personality disorders: results from a nationally representative population-based study. J Psychiatr Res 45(6):814–822PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Afifi TO et al (2009) Mental health correlates of intimate partner violence in marital relationships in a nationally representative sample of males and females. J Interpers Violence 24(8):1398–1417PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Fang X et al (2012) The economic burden of child maltreatment in the United States and implications for prevention. Child Abuse Negl 36(2):156–165PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Max W et al (2004) The economic toll of intimate partner violence against women in the United States. Violence Vict 19(3):259–272PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gomez AM (2011) Testing the cycle of violence hypothesis: child abuse and adolescent dating violence as predictors of intimate partner violence in young adulthood. Youth Soc 43(1):171–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wekerle C et al (2009) The contribution of childhood emotional abuse to teen dating violence among child protective services-involved youth. Child Abuse Negl 33(1):45–58PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bandura A (1977) Social Learning Theory. Prentice Hall, Englewood CliffsGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Garbarino J (1977) The human ecology of child maltreatment: a conceptual model for research. J Marriage Fam 39(4):721–735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Maiter S, Stalker CA, Alaggia R (2009) The experiences of minority immigrant families receiving child welfare services: seeking to understand how to reduce risk and increase protective factors. Fam Soc J Contemp Soc Serv 90(1):28–36Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Han AD, Kim EJ, Tyson SY (2010) Partner violence against Korean immigrant women. J Transcult Nurs 21(4):370–376PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Akinsulure-Smith AM et al (2013) Intimate partner violence among west african immigrants. J Aggress Maltreat Trauma 22(1):109–129PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Menjivar C, Salcido O (2002) Immigrant women and domestic violence—common experiences in different countries. Gend Soc 16(6):898–920CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chang DF, Shen BJ, Takeuchi DT (2009) Prevalence and demographic correlates of intimate partner violence in Asian Americans. Int J Law Psychiatry 32(3):167–175PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hazen A, Soriano FI (2005) Experiences of intimate partner violence among US born, immigrant and migrant Latinas.
  17. 17.
    Dettlaff AJ, Johnson MA (2011) Child maltreatment dynamics among immigrant and US born Latino children: findings from the National Survey of Child and Adoelscent Well-being (NSCAW). Child Youth Serv Rev 33(6):936–944CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Chang J, Rhee S, Weaver D (2006) Characteristics of child abuse in immigrant Korean families and correlates of placement decisions. Child Abuse Negl 30(8):881–891PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gupta J et al (2010) Intimate partner violence perpetration, immigration status, and disparities in a community health center-based sample of men. Public Health Rep 125(1):79–87PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gupta J et al (2009) Premigration exposure to political violence and perpetration of intimate partner violence among immigrant men in boston. Am J Public Health 99(3):462–469PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Myers JEB (ed) (2011) The APSAC handbook on child maltreatment. 3rd edn. Sage Publications, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Dettlaff AJ, Earner I (2012) Children of immigrants in the child welfare system: characteristics, risk and maltreatment. Fam Soc 93(4):295–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kantor GK, Jasinski JL, Aldarondo E (1994) Socio-cultural status and incidence of marital violence in Hispanic families. Viol Vict 9:207–222Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ehlers CL et al (2009) Acculturation stress, anxiety disorders, and alcohol dependence in a select population of young adult Mexican Americans. J Addict Med 3(4):227–233PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lorenzo-Blanco EI et al (2012) Acculturation, enculturation, and symptoms of depression in Hispanic youth: the roles of gender, Hispanic cultural values, and family functioning. J Youth Adolesc 41(10):1350–1365PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Grant BF, Kaplan KD (2005) Source and accuracy statement for the Wave 2 National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, RockvilleGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Shah BV, Barnswell BG, Bieler GS (1995) SUDAAN user’s manual: software for the analysis of correlated data. Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle ParkGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    NIAAA (2010) Alcohol use and alcohol use disorders in the United States, a 3-Year Follow-Up: Main findings from the 2004–2005 Wave 2 National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, BethesdaGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Bernstein DP et al (1994) Initial reliability and validity of a new retrospective measure of child abuse and neglect. Am J Psychiatry 151(8):1132–1136PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Straus MA (1979) Measuring intrafamily conflict and violence: the conflict tactics (CT) scales. J Marriage Fam 41:75–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Goldstein AL et al (2013) Childhood maltreatment, alcohol use disorders, and treatment utilization in a national sample of emerging adults. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 74(2):185–194PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Straus MA (2004) Cross-cultural reliability and validity of the revised conflict tactics scales: a study of university student dating couples in 17 nations. Cross-Cult Res 38(4):407–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Kim D et al (2011) Reliability and validity of the Korean version of the childhood trauma questionnaire-short form for psychiatric outpatients. Psychiatry Investig 8(4):305–311PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Klinitzke G et al (2012) The German version of the childhood trauma questionnaire (CTQ)—psychometric characteristics in a representative sample of the general population. Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol 62(2):47–51PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Charak R, Koot HM (2014) Abuse and neglect in adolescents of Jammu, India: the role of gender, family structure, and parental education. J Anxiety Disord 28(6):590–598PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Thombs BD et al (2009) A validation study of the Dutch Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short Form: factor structure, reliability, and known-groups validity. Child Abuse Negl 33(8):518–523PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Straus MA (1990) Measuring intra-family conflict and violence: the conflict tactics (CT) scales. In: Straus MA, Gelles RJ, Smith C, (eds) Physical violence in American families: risk factors and adaptations to violence in 8,145 families. Tranaction, New Brunswick, pp 29–47Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Newbold KB (2001) Measuring migration among the foreign-born: insights from Canadian data. Rev Reg Stud 31(2):177–195Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Dunn JR, Dyck I (2000) Social determinants of health in Canada’s immigrant population: results from the National Population Health Survey. Soc Sci Med 51(11):1573–1593PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Dustmann C, Frattini T, Lanzara G (2012) Educational achievement of second-generation immigrants: an international comparison. Economic Policy 27(69):143–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Caetano R et al (2000) Intimate partner violence, acculturation and alcohol consumption among Hispanic couples in the United States. J Interpers Violence 15:3–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Chiriboga DA (2004) Some thoughts on the measurement of acculturation among Mexican American elders. J Behav Sci 26(3):274–292Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Afifi TO et al (2012) Childhood maltreatment and substance use disorders among men and women in a nationally representative sample. Can J Psychiatry 57(11):677–686PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Grant BF, Dawson DA, Hasin DS (2004) The Wave 2 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions alcohol use disorder and associated disabilities interview schedule-DSM IV version. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, BethesdaGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Reed E et al (2010) Experiences of racial discrimination and relation to violence perpetration and gang involvement among a sample of urban African American men. J Immigr Minor Health 12(3):319–326PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Perez-Fuentes G et al (2013) Prevalence and correlates of child sexual abuse: a national study. Compr Psychiatry 54(1):16–27PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Stoltenborgh M, Bakermans-Kranenburg MJ, van Ijzendoorn MH (2013) The neglect of child neglect: a meta-analytic review of the prevalence of neglect. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 48(3):345–355PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Maker AH, Shah PV, Agha Z (2012) Prevalence, characteristics, predictors and beliefs about parent-child violence in South Asian, Middle Eastern, East Asian, and Latina Women in the United States. In: Myers JEB (ed) Child maltreatment: a collection of readings. Sage Publications, NY, pp 312–329Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Bhuyan R et al (2005) Women must endure according to their karma: Cambodian immigrant women talk about domestic violence. J Interpers Viol 20(8):902–921CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Caetano R et al (2007) Acculturation stress, drinking, and intimate partner violence among Hispanic couples in the US. J Interpers Violence 22(11):1431–1447PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Loue S, Faust M (1998) Intimate partner violence among immigrants. In: Loue S, Faust M (eds) Handbook of immigrant health. Plenum Press: New York, pp 521–544Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Hernandez MG et al (2013) Doing no harm and getting it right: guidelines for ethical research with immigrant communities. Framew Ethics Res Immigr 141:43–60Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa Kimber
    • 1
  • Christine A. Henriksen
    • 2
  • Danielle M. Davidov
    • 3
  • Abby L. Goldstein
    • 4
  • Nicole Y. Pitre
    • 5
  • Lil Tonmyr
    • 6
  • Tracie O. Afifi
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Departments of Community Health Sciences and Psychiatry, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.West Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  4. 4.University of TorontoTorontoCanada
  5. 5.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  6. 6.Public Health Agency of CanadaOttawaCanada

Personalised recommendations