South Asian Immigrants' Perceptions of Abuse in Marital Conflicts
Montgomery, Satya Rao. “South Asian Immigrants' Perceptions of Abuse in Marital Conflicts”, Boston College, 2009. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/915.
Abstract As there is an increasing awareness of the occurrence of domestic violence among South Asian immigrants, a need for cultural-sensitive interventions and community education are necessary to break the silence of victims. In order for us to begin the process of breaking the silence, there is need for a paradigm shift that can more accurately capture the experience of South Asian immigrant victims. This paradigm shift requires us to move away from blaming culture for the violence but to look at socialization, acculturation processes and mutuality in relationships as factors that may lead to increased acceptance of abusive tactics in marital conflicts. Using a sample of predominately first generation South Asian immigrants (N= 50), in the United States, the present study investigates the perception of acceptance of a husband's use of abusive conflict tactics to manage marital conflicts. Approximately half of the sample completed online surveys measuring South Asian immigrants' perception of acceptance of marital conflicts and the rest completed a paper survey. Through various statistical analyses such as regression, one-sample t-tests and chi-square, South Asian immigrants demonstrated higher levels of acceptance when it was perceived that the wife violated a social norm and when they perceived the wife as less educated. In addition, South Asian male immigrants who perceived that their own wives were not meeting their needs were more likely to rate the abusive tactics of the husband in the Abusive Conflict Tactics Perception Scale (ACPTS) as acceptable. The findings have implications for domestic violence advocates who are seeking to educate the community on domestic violence by challenging the misperceptions that abuse in marital relations is a direct result of cultural norms rather than socialization that can transcend culture.