Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 249–267 | Cite as

Predictors of Physical Spousal/Intimate Violence in Chinese American Families

  • Alice G. Yick


A total of 262 Chinese Americans (133 males and 129 females) were randomly selected from the Los Angeles County telephone directory using Chinese surnames as the identifying marker. A structured telephone interview was administered measuring respondents' gender role beliefs, acculturation, sociodemographic factors, and their victimization experiences with physical aggression by a spouse or intimate partner. Contrary to the feminist literature on domestic violence, gender role beliefs was not related to physical intimate violence. Acculturation, however, significantly predicted severe physical violence experienced during respondents' lifetime. Whether respondents were employed also predicted lifetime minor forms physical violence by a spouse/intimate partner. Findings are discussed in a cultural context, and social work practice and research implications are also highlighted.

Chinese American families domestic violence intimate violence acculturation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, M. J. (1993). License to abuse: The impact of conditional status on female immigrants. Yale Law Journal 102: 1401–1430.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, J., Moeschberger, M., Chen, M. S., Kunn, P., et al. (1993). An acculturation scale for Southeast Asians. Soc. Psychiatry Psychiatr. Epidemiol. 28: 134–141.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Aneshensel, C. S., Frerichs, R. R., Clark, V. A., and Yokopenic, P. A. (1982). Measuring depression in the community: A comparison of telephone and personal interviews. Public Opinion Quarterly 46: 110–121.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Babbie, E. R. (1990). Survey Research Methods. Wadsworth, Belmont, CA.Google Scholar
  5. Bradshaw, C. K. (1994). Asian and Asian American women: Historical and political considerations in psychotherapy. In Comas-Diaz, L., and Greene, B. (eds.), Women of Color: Integrating Ethnic and Gender Identities in Psychotherapy, Guilford, New York, pp. 72–113.Google Scholar
  6. Brush, L. D. (1990). Violent acts and injurious outcomes in married couples: Methodological issues in the National Survey of Families and Households. Gender and Society 4: 56–67.Google Scholar
  7. Chin, K. (1994). Out-of-town brides: International marriage and wife abuse among Chinese immigrants. Journal of Comparative Family Studies 25: 53–69.Google Scholar
  8. Collins, P. H. (1989). The social construction of Black feminist thought. Signs 11: 745–773.Google Scholar
  9. Cortes, D. E., Rogler, L. H., and Malgady, R. G. (1994). Biculturality among Puerto Rican adults in the United States. Am. J. Community Psychol. 22: 707–721.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Crossman, R. K., Stith, S. M., and Bender, M. M. (1990). Sex role egalitarianism and marital violence. Sex Roles 22: 293–304.Google Scholar
  11. Currie (1983). The Toronto model. Social Work with Groups 6: 179–188.Google Scholar
  12. Daugherty, C. G., and Dambrot, F. H. (1986). Reliability of the Attitudes Toward Women Scale. Educational & Psychological Measurement 46: 449–453.Google Scholar
  13. Dobash, R. E., and Dobash, R. P. (1979). Violence against Wives: A Case against the Patriarchy. Free Press, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Dolan, K. (1991). Battered Asian women shy away from counseling. New York Asian News October: 1991.Google Scholar
  15. DuRant, R. H., Pendergrast, R. A., and Cadenhead, C. (1994). Exposure to violence and victimization and fighting behavior by urban Black adolescents. J. Adolesc. Health 15: 311–318.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Dutton, D. G. (1994). Patriarchy and wife assault: The ecological fallacy. Violence Vict. 9: 167–182.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Eng, L. (1986). Refuge for battered Asian wives. Los Angeles Times, October 10, 1986, Part V, p. 2.Google Scholar
  18. Fenig, S., Levav, I., Kohn, R., and Yelin, N. (1993). Telephone vs face-to-face interviewing in a community psychiatric survey. Am. J. Public Health 83: 896–898.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Furiya, L. (1993). Asian American women's shelters seek to empower victims of domestic violence. Los Angeles Japanese Daily, Monday, October 4, 1993, p. 1.Google Scholar
  20. Gelles, R. J. (1974). The Violent Home: A Study of Physical Aggression between Husbands and Wives, Sage, Beverly Hills, CA.Google Scholar
  21. Gelles, R. J. (1993). Through a sociological lens: Social structure and family violence. In Gelles, R. J., and Loseke, D. R. (eds.), Current Controversies on Family Violence, Sage, Newbury Park, CA, pp. 31–46.Google Scholar
  22. Goode, W. J. (1971). Force and violence in the family. Journal of Marriage and the Family 33: 624–636.Google Scholar
  23. Grotevant, H. D., and Carlson, C. I. (1989). Family Assessment: A Guide to Methods and Measures, Guilford, New York.Google Scholar
  24. Hall, G. C. N., and Barongan, C. (1997). Prevention of sexual aggression: Sociocultural risk and protective factors. Am. Psycholo. 52: 5–14.Google Scholar
  25. Hampton, R. L., and Washington Coner-Edwards, A. F. (1993). Physical and sexual violence in marriage. In Hampton, R. L., Gullotta, T. P., Adams, G. R., Potter, E. H., and Weissberg, R. P. (eds.), Family Violence: Prevention and Treatment, Sage, Newbury Park, CA, pp. 113–141.Google Scholar
  26. Helmreich, R. L., Spence, J. T., and Gibson, R. H. (1982). Sex-role attitudes: 1972–1980. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 8: 656–663.Google Scholar
  27. Hing, B. O. (1993). Making and remaking Asian Pacific America: Immigration policy. In Ong, P. (ed)., The State of Asian Pacific America: Policy Issues to the Year 2000, LEAP Asian Pacific American Public Policy Institute and UCLA, Asian American Studies Center, Los Angeles, pp. 127–139.Google Scholar
  28. Ho, M. (1987). Family Therapy with Ethnic Minorities, Sage, Newbury Park, CA.Google Scholar
  29. Ho, C. (1990). An analysis of domestic violence in Asian American communities: A multicultural approach to counseling. Women and Therapy 9: 129–150.Google Scholar
  30. Jang, D. L. (1991). Asian immigrant battered women and United States immigration policy. Asian American Policy Review Spring: 33–42.Google Scholar
  31. Kantor, G. K., Jasinski, J. L., and Aldarondo, E. (1994). Sociocultural status and incidence of marital violence in Hispanic families. Special Issue: Violence against women of color. Violence Vict. 9: 207–222.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Kennedy, L. W., and Dutton, D. G. (1989). The incidence of wife assault in Alberta. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science 21: 40–54.Google Scholar
  33. Kim, B. C. (1973). Asian-Americans: No model minority. Social Work 18: 44–53.Google Scholar
  34. Kumagai, F., and Straus, M. A. (1983). Conflict resolution tactics in Japan, India, and the USA. Journal of Comparative Family Studies 14: 377–392.Google Scholar
  35. Marin, G., Sabogal, F., Marin, B. V., Otero-Sabogal, R., et al. (1987). Development of a short acculturation scale for Hispanics. Special Issue: Acculturation research. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 9: 183–205.Google Scholar
  36. Marin, G., Vanoss, B., and Perez-Stable, E. J. (1990). Feasibility of a telephone survey to study aminority community: Hispanics in San Francisco. Am. J. Public Health 80: 323–327.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Marin, G., and Marin Vanoss, B. (1991). Research with Hispanic Populations. Sage, Newbury Park, CA.Google Scholar
  38. Masuda, M., Lin, K., and Tazuma, L. (1980). Adaptation problems of Vietnamese refugees: Life changes and percetpioin of life events. Archi. Gen. Psychiatry 37: 447–450.Google Scholar
  39. Narayan, U. (1995). ''Male-order brides: Immigrant women, domestic violence and immigration law. Hypatia 10: 104–119.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Neidig, P. H., Friedman, D. H., and Collins, B. S. (1986). Attitudinal characteristics of males who have engaged in spouse abuse. Journal of Family Violence 1: 223–233.Google Scholar
  41. Ong, P., and Hee, S. J. (1993). The growth of the Asian Pacific American population: Twenty million in 2020. In Ong, P. (ed.), The State of Asian Pacific America: Policy Issues to the Year 2000, LEAP Asian Pacific American Public Policy Institute and UCLA, Asian American Studies Center, Los Angeles, pp. 11–24.Google Scholar
  42. Padilla, Y. C. (1990). Social science theory on the Mexican American experience. Social Science Review 261–275.Google Scholar
  43. Pagelow, M. D. (1981). Woman-Battering: Victims and Their Experiences, Sage, Beverly Hills, CA.Google Scholar
  44. Pless, I. B., and Miller, J. R. (1979). Apparent validity of alternative survey methods. Journal of Community Health 5: 22–27.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Rogler, L. H., Cortes, D. E., and Malgady, R. G. (1991). Acculturation and mental health status among Hispanics: Convergence and new directions for research. Am. Psycholo. 46: 585–597.Google Scholar
  46. Rosenwaike, I. (1994). Surname analysis as ameans of estimating minority elderly: An application using Asian surnames. Research on Aging 16: 212–228.Google Scholar
  47. Sabogal, F., Perez-Stable, E. J., Otero-Sabogal, R., and Hiatt, R. A. (1995). Gender, ethnic, and acculturation differences in sexual behaviors: Hispanic and non-Hispanic White adults. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 17: 139–159.Google Scholar
  48. Schecter, S. (1982). Women and Male Violence, South End Press, Boston.Google Scholar
  49. Sluzki, C. E. (1979). Migration and family conflict. Family Process 18: 381–394.Google Scholar
  50. Smart, J. F., and Smart, D. W. (1995). Acculturative stress: The experience of the Hispanic immigrant. Counseling Psychologist 23: 25–42.Google Scholar
  51. Smith, M. D. (1994). Enhancing the quality on violence against women: A feminist approach. Gender and Society 8: 109–127.Google Scholar
  52. Song-Kim, Y. I. (1992). Battered Korean women in urban United States. In Furuto, S., Biswas, R., Chung, D. K., Murase, K., and Ross-Sheriff, F. (eds.), Social Work Practice with Asian-Americans, Sage, Newbury Park, CA, pp. 213–226.Google Scholar
  53. Sorenson, S. B., and Telles, C. A. (1991). Self-reports of spousal violence in a Mexican-American and non-Hispanic White population. Violence Vict. 6: 3–15.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Straus, M. A. (1992). Sociological research and social policy: The case of family violence. Sociological Forum 7: 211–237.Google Scholar
  55. Straus, M. A. (1979). Measuring intrafamily conflict and violence: The Conflict Tactics (CTS) Scales. Journal of Marriage and the Family 41: 75–88.Google Scholar
  56. Straus, M. A., and Gelles, R. J. (1986). Societal change and change in family violence from 1975 to 1985 as revealed by two national surveys. Journal of Marriage and the Family 48: 465–479.Google Scholar
  57. Straus, M. A., Gelles, R. J., and Steinmetz, S. (1980). Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American Family. Anchor Press/Doubleday, Garden City, NY.Google Scholar
  58. Sue, D. W., and Sue, D. (1990). Counseling the Culturally Different: Theory and Practice, 2nd ed. Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  59. Sugarman, D. B., and Frankel, S. L. (1996). Patriarchal ideology and wife assault: A metaanalytic review. Journal of Family Violence 11: 13–40.Google Scholar
  60. Takeuchi, D., and Young, K. (1994). Overview of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. In Zane, N., Takeuchi, D., and Young, K., (eds.), Confronting Critical Health Issues of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 3–21.Google Scholar
  61. Tang, C. S. (1994). Prevalence of spouse aggression in Hong Kong. Journal of Family Violence 9: 347–356.Google Scholar
  62. Teichman, M., and Teichman, Y. (1989). Violence in the family: An analysis in terms of interpersonal resource-exchange. Journal of Family Violence 4: 127–142.Google Scholar
  63. Telch, C. F., and Lindquist, C. U. (1984). Violent versus nonviolent couples: A comparison of patterns. Psychotherapy 2: 242–248.Google Scholar
  64. Torres, S. (1987). Hispanic-American battered women: Why consider cultural differences? Response to Victimization of Women and Children 10: 20–21.Google Scholar
  65. Tseng, W. S., and Wu, D. Y. H. (1985). Chinese Culture and Mental Health, Academic Press, Orlando, FL.Google Scholar
  66. Uba, L. (1994). Asian Americans: Personality Patterns, Identity, and Mental Health. Guilford Press, New York.Google Scholar
  67. Wong, R. R. (1995). Divorce mediation among Asian Americans: Bargaining in the shadow of diversity. Family and Conciliation Courts Review 33: 110–128.Google Scholar
  68. Yick, A., and Agbayani-Siewert, P. (1997). Perceptions of domestic violence in a Chinese American community. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 12: 832–846.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice G. Yick

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations