Domestic Violence Among Hispanics Research Paper

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Domestic Violence Among Hispanics


Annotated Bibliography

Molina, C.S., Gomez, J.R., & Pastrana, M.C.V. (2009). Psychometric Properties of the Spanish Language Child Depression Inventory with Hispanic Children who are Secondary Victims of Domestic Violence. Adolescence. 44(173). The paper is about symptoms which a child develops when he or she is exposed to domestic violence. This is a psychological survey, seeing the effects of children when they witness their mothers being beaten. It measures the dimesions of depression and anxiety which a child may develop. This study focuses on the Hispanic community and dysfunctional families within that community. The first author, Molina, is a hold a Ph.D. In psychology and psychotherapy, this deems her credible for the study. Additionally, she is herself of a Hispanic background, therefore she is aware of most of the culture's traditions and dimensions.

Murdaugh, C., Hunt, S., Sowell, R. & Santana, I. (2004). Domestic Violence in Hispanics in the Southeastern United States: A Survey and Needs Analysis. Journal of Family Violence. 19(2). This paper discusses the issues of domestic violence among Hispanic families in the Southeastern areas of the United States. It indicates that domestic violence is a rampant problem among Hispanic women, and there is a community need for intervention as well as routine screenings. The frequency of this type of violence is examined, as well as the depth of the violence. The authors have graduated in the field of nursing, and have participated in Hispanic outreaches which coincide with their topic of research.

Lipsky, S., Caetano, R., Field, C.A., & Bazargan, S. (2005). The Role of Alcohol Use and Depression in Intimate Partner Violence Among Blacks and Hispanic Patients in an Urban Emergency Department. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. 31; 225-242. This paper studied the role of alcohol and depression in intimate partner violence among Blacks and Hispanics. It did this through surveys among both male and female patients. Outcomes show physical as well as sexual violence in connection to drug and alcohol abuse. The researchers all have M.P.H. degrees and have presented their paper to the Collaborative Alcohol Research Center.

Coker, A.L., Sanderson, M., Cantu, E., Huerta, D., & Fadden, M.K. (2008). Frequency and Types of Partner Violence Among Mexican-American College Women. Journal of American College Health. 56(6). This paper studied the prevalence of partner violence within the Hispanic community among women from the ages of 18-35. They found that domestic violence was in fact rampant in this area and interventions must be sought. The authors specialize in both the field of psychology as well as women studies.

Dutton, D.G. (2007). The Complexities of Domestic Violence. American Psychologist. 10(37). The paper focuses generally on domestic violence, what causes it and its effects on the parties involved. He examines the roles of dependency among partners when it comes to domestic violence and the psychological factors involved in it. He believes that there is a stereotype among those who are seen as common perpetrators of domestic violence. The author is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, specializing in psychology and behavioral studies.


Family Violence is different from other types of violence because it occurs in an environment where there is supposed to be a certain context of trust and relationships. This involves different patterns over behavior which can worsen over time ("Ohio Family Violence," 2007). This is seen as prevalent in the Hispanic community, mostly affecting women and children. Children are seen as secondary victims of domestic violence, in which they are witnesses to the acts (Molina, Gomez & Pastrana, 2009). This causes psychological trauma on both victims which have long-term effects. Domestic violence has been found to be a common outlet for those males who are suffering under stressful social conditions (Dutton, 2007). This paper will investigate the following research questions:

1.) What are the main social and psychological causes of domestic violence in the Hispanic community?

2.) How prevalent is domestic violence among Hispanics?

3.) What are the effects on all members of the family regarding this violence?

Domestic violence is increasingly prevalent among the Hispanic community and must be directly addressed through interventions and screenings.


The research for this study was conducted through the search of psychological and sociological evidences connecting domestic violence with sociological and psychological factors. The effects of domestic violence were examined and the prevalence of it among the Hispanic community was analyzed. Statistical data and information regarding the topic was also reviewed and helped towards the construction of the overall paper.


Domestic violence has received a great amount of attention from the media, and this is seen in movies, music videos and news reports (Saenger, 2000). Over the years, millions of people worldwide fall victims to the effects of violence within their own family settings. This has developed the stereotype of women and their roles inside the family; the stereotype is where the woman is seen as insignificant in the family, and she is viewed of having less personal value. There is a constant power struggle between husband and wife, and this causes psychological damages as well within the family (Saenger, 2000). In some cases, children also suffer from abuse and a number of victims suffer from great injuries and even die because of this type of violence. This causes trauma from people who have witnessed and/or experienced any type of abuse in their lives (Dutton, 2007).

The Hispanic community experiences much domestic violence, studies have found that this is in conjunction with drug and alcohol abuse; this has much depression and stress indicators which arise within the community (Lipsky, Caetano, Field, & Bazargan, 2005). Studies have shown that this type of violence is more common for women that it is for men. According to Coker, Sanderson, Cantu, Huerta and Fadden (2008) Hispanic domestic violence among Hispanic women are 82% higher as compared to any other race in the United States. This type of violence is found to be gender based, and 54.9% of Latinas who report domestic violence in the United States are victims of continual spousal abuse.

Families who suffer from this type of violence usually are in unstable living conditions and are victims of uncontrollable circumstances such as poverty, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse and/or a parent suffering from a mental or psychological illness (Saenger, 2000). In these cases, usually it is a behavioral problem found in the male, where he feels like he has to compensate for something which is lacking in his life. This has been reported in many of the families who suffer from Domestic abuse seen in the Southeastern Areas of the United States (Murdaugh, Hunt, Sowell & Santana, 2004). This is where the husband is seen to take out his stress caused by work related problems on the family, or other issues which he does not want to directly deal with. This type of abuse within the family can also sometimes be seen as a need for control (Saenger, 2000).

There are many theories which can explain the behavior of a human that causes him or her to inflict abuse on a family member. A study which examined alcohol and drug abuse among Hispanic males shows that they are more likely to be the perpetrators for spousal abuse because of social and environmental factors (Lipsky, Caetano, Field, & Bazargan, 2005). This can be seen in social contexts of the family structure, stress and social learning (McClennen, 2010). This can also be a case of rational choice theory. This can be seen in women who are economically dependent on their husbands or spouses, the case might be that the woman is handicapped, unemployed or ill, and she is the primary caregiver of the children. In the Hispanic community, culture shows a high family-type orientation, where the mother is seen as the primary caregiver and the father is the household's breadwinner. In socio-economic environments which are experiencing high rates of poverty, the woman is mostly seen at home or working a menial job; this might account for the dependency in finances (Lipsky, Caetano, Field, & Bazargan, 2005). It is with the fear of not being able to provide financially for her children that she will decide to cope with her spouses' abusive behavior (McClennen, 2010).

Another theory for this type of behavior within the family is seen due to social stresses outside the family home. This might be financial problems or other problems which can be found in the workplace (McClennen, 2010). Some theorists believe that poverty may create the feelings of "unsuccessful manhood" for a man, and he turns to family violence in the forms of any type of abuse within the home to release his frustration. Also, he feels that when he is economically incapable of taking care of his wife and children, they might leave him, therefore he has to gain some sort of control over them (McClennen, 2010).

This type of violence can be manifested when an individual has experienced domestic violence as a child within the home, as well…

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