Culture and intimate partner violence: The impact of loss of face, acculturation, and trauma history on Asian American women's in-the-moment behavioral intentions and risk perception
Nguyen, Hong V.
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Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been shown to be a significant problem in Asian American communities. Further, victimization may be particularly significant among Asian American college women due to data suggesting that many women experience their first victimization during college. Asian cultural norms regarding the interdependence construct loss of face and the construction of family dynamics have been proposed to decrease women's likelihood to disclose, terminate the relationship, and access help in response to IPV. In addition to cultural level factors, individual level factors have also been shown to significantly impact women's responses to IPV. Childhood abuse (CA) and a history of IPV have been shown to increase women's risk for IPV victimization. Given the significance of the cultural and individual level influences on women's responses to IPV, this dissertation examined these associations through 3 empirical studies. To understand women's responses in acute IPV situations, we used an escalating hypothetical IPV scenario to activate acute visceral states to assess in-the-moment responses. The first study was a qualitative examination of Asian American college women's responses to the IPV scenario. We explored women's behavioral intentions, their perception of the perpetrator, and their attributions of the cause of violence in the scenario. The second study tested three models examining cultural predictors of Asian American college women's in-the-moment responses the IPV scenario. The associations among loss of face, acculturation, three behavioral intentions (soothe, escape, and escalation/resistance), current and future risk perception, and the likelihood of staying in the relationship were examined. The third study tested three models examining trauma history as predictors of Asian American college women's in-the-moment responses to the IPV scenario. We examined the associations among CA, IPV, posttraumatic stress symptoms, three behavioral intentions (soothe, escape, and escalation/resistance), current and future risk perception, and the likelihood of staying in the relationship. This dissertation provides a number of significant contributions to the field of IPV. Since extant research has mostly examined the dichotomy of staying or leaving behaviors in regards to IPV, this was the first project to examine multiple in-the-moment behavioral intentions and risk perception. Further, this was the first project to examine the effects of cultural factors on in-the-moment risk perception and behavioral intentions among Asian Americans. Our findings extend previous research and provide further knowledge to aide in the development of culturally sensitive prevention and intervention programs for Asian Americans.
- Psychology