The Attitudes and Beliefs of Latina Women Victims of Intimate Partner Violence and Effects of Marianismo on Their Decision Making Process.

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According to the U.S. Dept of Justice (2000), approximately 1.3 million women are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. Nearly 25% of women were raped and/or physically assaulted or killed by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or dating partner or acquaintance. Each culture has unique factors that determine the services and resources that battered women, children exposed to domestic violence, and abusive partners need.

Although literature indicates no significant differences with regard to the nature and severity of Hispanic and non-Hispanic women’s domestic violence experience, Hispanic women (Latina) reported significantly greater trauma symptoms such as depression and lower social and personal self-esteem. In addition, they were less likely to make global attritions for positive events than were non-Hispanic women (2000). There are many studies regarding Hispanic woman and domestic violence, however, little is known about how Intrapersonal constructs (culture and religion) impact their decision making process. The intent of this study is to explore two specific topic areas: the cultural experience of Intimate Partner Violence among Latinas and how the cultural phenomena “marianismo” defined as the traditional idealized gender role impacts their domestic violence experience.

Research Questions/Hypotheses
Research Question #1: What is the relationship between marianismo and marital satisfaction among women of Mexican origin?

Hypothesis #1: Familismo will be positively correlated with marital satisfaction among women of Mexican origin.

It is expected that women who endorse higher levels of familismo will report It is expected that women who endorse higher levels of familismo will report higher levels of marital satisfaction. Conversely, women who endorse lower levels of familismo will report lower levels of marital satisfaction. This hypothesis is based on the Latino literature suggesting family support and strong family values help increase marital satisfaction and help keep the divorce rate down among the Latino population (Frisbie,1986; Nogales, 1998; Santiago-Rivera et al., 2002).

Research Question #2: What is the relationship between marianismo, perceived machismo, and marital satisfaction among women of Mexican origin?

Hypothesis #2: The interaction between corresponding levels of marianismo and perceived machismo (i.e., higher marianismo/higher perceived machismo or lower marianismo/lower perceived machismo) will be positively correlated with marital satisfaction, whereas the interaction between dissimilar levels (i.e., higher marianismo/lower perceived machismo or lower marianismo/higher perceived machismo) will be negatively correlated with marital satisfaction among women of Mexican origin.

It is expected that a sense of shared cultural values will contribute to greater marital satisfaction, whereas conflicting cultural values will contribute to lowered marital satisfaction. Specifically, women who report similar or corresponding levels of marianismo and perceived machismo (i.e., variables are both high or low, indicating a positive correlation) will report higher levels of marital satisfaction. Conversely, women who report dissimilar levels of marianismo and perceived machismo (i.e., one variable is high and the other is low, indicating a negative correlation) will report lower levels of marital satisfaction. Satisfaction with shared values, particularly the mutual value placed on traditional gender roles in a relationship by both spouses, has been linked to greater marital satisfaction among married women (Rosen-Grandon et al., 2004).

The purpose of this qualitative method Inquiry is to understand the meaning of Hispanic women’s cultural role attitudes “marianismo” at a Domestic Violence or Homeless shelter. At this stage in the research, “marianismo” will be tentatively defined as cultural social expectations for Hispanic women....
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