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Public Health Rep. 2010 Jan-Feb;125(1):79-87.

Intimate partner violence perpetration, immigration status, and disparities in a community health center-based sample of men.

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Yale School of Public Health, 60 College St., Room 400, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.



We examined disparities in male perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) based on immigration status.


From 2005 to 2006, 1,668 men aged 18-35 who were recruited from community health centers anonymously completed an automated, computer-assisted self-interview. Men self-reported their immigrant status (e.g., native-born, <6 years in the U.S. [recent immigrants], or > or = 6 years in the U.S. [non-recent immigrants]) and IPV perpetration. We calculated differences in IPV perpetration based on immigrant status. Among immigrant men, we further examined differences in IPV perpetration based on English-speaking ability.


Recent immigrants were less likely to report IPV perpetration than native-born men in the overall sample (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.36, 1.00). However, we observed no differences in IPV perpetration between non-recent immigrants and native-born men (AOR=0.88, 95% CI 0.63, 1.23). Among immigrant men, those who were non-recent immigrants and reported limited English-speaking ability were at the highest risk for IPV perpetration, compared with recent immigrants with high English-speaking ability (AOR=7.48, 95% CI 1.92, 29.08).


Although immigrant men were at a lower risk as a group for IPV perpetration as compared with non-immigrants, this lower likelihood of IPV perpetration was only evident among recent immigrants. Among immigrant men, those who arrived in the U.S. more than six years ago and reported speaking English relatively poorly appeared to be at greatest risk for using violence against partners. Future research should examine the effects of fear of legal sanctions, discrimination, and changes in gender roles to clarify the present findings.

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