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Hindu Asian Indian immigrant women and domestic violence: a mixed methods study

Pallatino, Chelsea L. (2017) Hindu Asian Indian immigrant women and domestic violence: a mixed methods study. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Domestic violence is a highly prevalent and underreported global health issue of public health significance. Dimensions of domestic violence include physical, sexual, mental, psychological and emotional abuse. Internationally, 33% of women are estimated to have a lifetime experience of physical and/or sexual violence, although rates vary by country and by personal situation of the victim. It is estimated that immigrant women are at higher risk for abuse than the general population; however, few studies have been conducted with Asian Indian immigrant women. This study used mixed methods to explore and measure how Asian Indian immigrant women’s definitions, experiences and help-seeking behaviors related to domestic violence differ for Indian women in India and Asian Indian immigrant women in the United States (U.S.).
All research participants completed in-depth interviews and questionnaires on demographics, social support, acculturation status and lifetime experiences of domestic violence. The majority of participants reported moderate to high ratings of perceived social support among significant others, friends and family, regardless of their demographics, acculturation status and lifetime experiences of domestic violence. Additionally, most women had moderate to high levels of sociocultural adaptation, psychological adaptation, and orientation to life in the U.S. and in India, despite high levels of perceived cultural difference between American and Indian culture. While there was little variation in acculturation status among participants regardless of lifetime experiences of abuse, emerging demographic associations highlighted a higher risk of lifetime experience of abuse for women who were not U.S. citizens and who were single. Over half of participants experienced some form of violence in their lifetime and it was most often perpetrated by family members.
All participants who completed questionnaires also completed in-depth interviews on perceived differences of domestic violence and healthy relationships between Indian women in India and Asian Indian immigrant women in the U.S. Women recognized Asian Indian immigrant women who come as dependents on their husband’s visa as highly vulnerable for experiencing abuse. Additionally, women identified barriers, stakeholders and intervention activities for consideration when designing supportive services for Asian Indian immigrant women in situations of abuse.
Key findings from the qualitative and feasibility studies are that research with this population is feasible and perceived risk and types of appropriate services for domestic violence survivors differ by subpopulations of Asian Indian immigrant women. Although findings are limited by the small size of the sample, high levels of social support and acculturation status among participants did not correlate with risk for lifetime experiences of abuse. The majority of participants identified the need for outreach targeted to this population by service providers and advocates, who can educate women about their rights and options. Women also emphasized the importance of creating socially, culturally, and linguistically appropriate domestic violence services for Asian Indian immigrant women. Findings suggest that addressing short-term and long- term outcomes of domestic violence among Asian Indian immigrant women in situations of abuse will require the expertise of policymakers, service providers and health professionals as well as the Indian community.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pallatino, Chelsea L.clp44@pitt.educlp44
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry,
Committee MemberBear,
Committee MemberRussell,
Committee MemberHayden,
Date: 31 August 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 9 June 2017
Approval Date: 31 August 2017
Submission Date: 11 May 2017
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 232
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hindu, Asian Indian, Immigrant, Violence Against Women, Domestic Violence, social support, acculturation, intimate parter violence
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2017 13:37
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 05:15


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