Why is Family Violence Lower Among Mexican Immigrants? The Protective Features of Mexican Culture.
Curry, Theodore R. Morales, Maria Cristina. Zavala, Egbert. Hernandez, Jorge Luis.
College of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Published: April 2018
Journal of Family Violence
Vol. 33, No. 8 , p. 171-184
Springer International Publishing AG
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New York, NY 10013
Tel: 212-460-1500 800-SPRINGER
Although immigrants tend to be less involved in crime than the native-born, less is known about whether immigration is protective regarding family violence and, if so, why. This is especially problematic given that some cultural features of immigrants, such as machismo, may increase family violence. Using a random sample of adults in El Paso County, Texas, the present study finds that family violence is substantially lower among first generation Mexican immigrants compared to 1.5 generation immigrants, second generation Americans and third generation or higher Americans. Higher levels of acculturation to Mexico among first generation immigrants partially mediated, or explained, this finding. However, familism and machismo were not higher among first generation Mexican immigrants; and, while lower among first generation immigrants, acculturation to the US was not associated with higher levels of family violence. Implications of these findings are discussed. (Author abstract)
family violence; Hispanics; immigrants; acculturation