Date of Award
Program or Major
Doctor of Philosophy
Murray A Straus
Studies that have compared intimate partner violence among Mexican Americans and Non-Mexican Whites have found conflicting results. The results can be grouped into three categories, those that found Mexican Americans have higher assault rates, those that found Mexican Americans have lower assault rates, and those that found no differences between both ethnic groups. This study analyzed a sample of 348 college students to examine the role that Mexican ethnicity and acculturation into Anglo American society by Mexican Americans plays in predicting intimate partner violence. Additionally, the role of criminal history and integration into society were analyzed to understand their unique effects on intimate partner violence. Furthermore, differences between Mexican Americans and Non-Mexicans in the relation of criminal history and social integration to intimate partner violence were investigated.
The results indicated that Mexican American ethnicity and acculturation into Anglo American society by Mexican Americans had no effect on intimate partner violence. Respondents who committed crimes in the past (before the age of 15) had a higher probability of severely physically assaulting a partner than those respondents who had committed crime later in life (after the age of 15). A history of property crime was found to be a better predictor of severe partner assault than a history of violent crime.
One of the most consistent findings in this study was that integration into society decreased the probability of severely assaulting a partner among both Mexican Americans and Non-Mexicans.
This research found that there is no difference between Mexican Americans and Non-Mexicans in the rate of intimate partner violence, and no difference in two etiological factors: criminal history and social integration.
The results support a generalist perspective on crime, which states that individuals do not solely commit one type of crime but commit a variety of different crimes (property and violent). Furthermore, the results found support for a control theory perspective on intimate partner violence.
Ramirez, Ignacio Luis, "The relation of acculturation, criminal history, and social integration of Mexican American and non -Mexican students to assaults on intimate partners" (2001). Doctoral Dissertations. 57.