A national study of intimate partner violence risk among female caregivers involved in the child welfare system: The role of nativity, acculturation, and legal status


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Although intimate partner violence (IPV) is a well-known risk for child maltreatment, little is known if the prevalence of and risk factors for IPV differ among US-born and foreign-born families involved with Child Protective Services. Data came from a new cohort of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being II (NSCAW II), a national probability study of children reported for child abuse and neglect. The study sample was restricted to female caregivers whose children remained in the home following an investigation (N=2,210). Caregiver self-report information was used to measure physical form of IPV during the past 12 months. The study results revealed no significant differences in IPV victimization rates between foreign-born and US-born caregivers both bivariately and while controlling for key socio-demographic and psychosocial functioning characteristics as well as family needs. Common risk factors for both population groups included caregiver’s young age, depression, high family stress and low social support. Additionally, foreign-born caregivers were more likely to experience IPV when there was high neighborhood stress and intimate partner was absent while Hispanic ethnicity, higher education, problematic substance use, and difficulty with paying for basic necessities predicted IPV among US-born caregivers. Neither legal status nor acculturation indicators were significantly associated with IPV victimization for foreign-born. Findings indicate that IPV remains a significant problem for child welfare-involved caregivers and warrant effective screening, identification and prevention.

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