Presentation on theme: "The influence of community factors on intimate partner abuse of African American mothers Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis Pepperdine University Summit on Interpersonal."— Presentation transcript:
The influence of community factors on intimate partner abuse of African American mothers Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis Pepperdine University Summit on Interpersonal Violence 2008
Acknowledgements This research project was made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Connections Initiative. Acknowledgements are also given to Dr. Bryant-Davis’ graduate research assistants Sheila Shervey, Heewoon Chung, and Shaquita Tillman.
Abstract This study examines the influence of neighborhood factors on African American mother’s vulnerability to intimate partner violence. Based on a national sample, the findings indicate that levels of perceived community safety are related to higher instances of both verbal and physical partner abuse of African American mothers. Living in government supported public housing is associated with higher vulnerability to physical partner abuse but not verbal abuse. Implications are considered.
Intimate Partner Violence: Prevalence among African American women African American women report higher rates of partner abuse than Caucasian, Latina, and Asian counterparts African American women report more severe partner abuse than their counterparts of other communities The disproportionate rate of partner abuse holds true for adult African American women as well as for African American adolescents
Literature Review Related to Community Factors Participants who live in neighborhoods where they see disorder have significantly higher levels of both fear and mistrust. Collective efficacy neighborhood cohesion and informal control is negatively associated with intimate homicide rates and nonlethal partner violence. People experiencing IPV are concentrated into “disadvantaged” neighborhoods. Women’s risk of IPV significantly increases under conditions of high neighborhood disorder
Current Study: Secondary Analyses of the Fragile Families & Child Wellbeing Study The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study is an analysis of a cohort of nearly 5,000 children born in large U.S. cities between 1998 and 2000 (roughly three- quarters of whom were born to unmarried parents).Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study
Participants: Focusing on African American women in the F.F. Study African American women 2,390 Marital Status (married)13% Mean Age25 Lacking a high school education 33% Public Assistance/Welfare44% Income less than $20,000/year55%
Measure The Study consists of interviews with both mothers at birth. The parent interviews collect information on attitudes, relationships, parenting behavior, demographic characteristics, health (mental and physical), economic and employment status, neighborhood characteristics, and program participation. The current study focused on interview questions related to partner abuse (physical and verbal) and neighborhood characteristics.
Methods A series of cross-tabular analyses were used to assess whether community factors (government housing, owning versus renting, and perceived neighborhood safety) predict partner abuse (verbal and physical). Chi-square statistics were used to determine significance of crosstab results.
Results The findings indicate that perceived community level danger or lack of safety is related to higher instances of both verbal and physical partner abuse of African American mothers. Renting versus owning property was not related to verbal or physical abuse. Living in government housing was related to physical partner abuse but not verbal abuse.
How often does baby’s father insult or criticize your ideas? Those reporting unsafe streets around their home (n=354) compared to those reporting safe streets (n=1332). 498 women reported abuse.
How often does baby’s father hit or slap you? Those reporting unsafe streets around their home (n=353) compared to those reporting safe streets (n=1331). Sixty-two women reported abuse.
How often does baby’s father hit or slap you? Those in public housing (n=284) compared to non-public housing (n=1405). Sixty-two women reported abuse.
Discussion Living in a neighborhood where there is more community violence may limit one’s dating options to people who for various reasons have adopted a violent approach to relationships Financial stressors may reduce coping strategies of potential abusers To survive a violent neighborhood, women may need or feel the need to select mates that are able to protect them physically – these mates may be more prone to interpersonal violence
Implications Counselors need to assess and provide support for women’s exposure to community violence, including being the direct target, witness, or simply knowing about such instances. Public policy should support community level interventions with the knowledge that macro-system failures have direct consequences on the micro-system.
Selected References Browning, C. (2002). Span of collective efficacy: extending social disorganization theory to partner violence. Journal of Marriage & Family (64) 4, p 833 Van Wyk, J., Benson, M., Fox, G., DeMaris, A.(2003). Detangling individual-, partner-, and community-level correlates of partner violence. Crime & Delinquency 49(3), 412-438 Jang, J. & Ross, C. (2000). Neighborhood disorder, fear, and mistrust: The buffering role of social ties with neighbors. American Journal of Community Psychology 28(4)