Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 137–154 | Cite as

Predictive Models of Domestic Violence and Fear of Intimate Partners Among Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker Women

  • Nikki R. Van Hightower
  • Joe Gorton
  • Casey Lee DeMoss


Despite a growing body of knowledge concerning family abuse, there is little research focusing on domestic violence in rural settings. Likewise, there is a paucity of research on family abuse among low-income and racial/ethnic minorities who reside in rural areas. This study examined the prevalence of domestic abuse experienced by low-income, predominantly Latina farm worker women. Using logistic regression analysis, we analyzed factors that predict victimization and the influence of those factors on women's fear of their intimate partners. Survey data were collected from 1001 adult female patients of 11 migrant farm worker health care clinics in nine states. Among the study participants, 19% had been physically or sexually abused by a husband, boyfriend, or companion. The strongest predictors of domestic abuse were drug/alcohol use by the respondent's partner, pregnancy, and migrant status. The factors that most influenced respondents' fear of their intimate partners were abuse and frequency of abuse. The article concludes by discussing implications of the study for domestic violence intervention, treatment, and research in rural settings.

domestic violence farm workers rural migrant Latina 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikki R. Van Hightower
    • 1
  • Joe Gorton
    • 2
  • Casey Lee DeMoss
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Rural Public HealthTexas A&M UniversityCollege Station
  2. 2.Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and CriminologyUniversity of Northern IowaCedar Falls
  3. 3.Migrant Clinicians NetworkAustin

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