Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is widespread among women, including those that are mothers (Austin et al., 2017). The impact of experiencing IPV is considered a significant health problem for women and their children (Amerson et al., 2014). The deleterious effects of IPV on parenting have been documented, including less effective parenting, engagement, communication and greater harsh discipline and neglect (Chiesa et al., 2018). Despite being the second fastestgrowing ethnoracial group, IPV research on Latinas specifically has been sparse and represents a critical public health concern that requires empirical attention (Paat et al., 2017). Immigrant Latinas may be particularly vulnerable due to isolation, greater economic disparities, and other immigration-related stressors (Stockman et al., 2015). The purpose of the present qualitative study was to conduct an in-depth exploration about the influence that experiencing IPV has on parenting among immigrant Latina mothers. To that end, 11 immigrant Latina mothers who had exited the relationship participated in individual, semi-structured interviews where they shared their perspectives on the implications of IPV on various aspects of their parenting. Grounded theory methodology (Charmaz, 2000; Strauss & Corbin, 1990) was used for data analysis. Results revealed IPV has lasting effects on mothers, children, and parenting into the post-separation period. These included reduced maternal psychological health, lower family functioning, and diminished parental competence. Nonetheless, mothers developed constructive parenting goals and behaviors in response to IPV and utilize internal resources to persevere through IPV- and immigration-related challenges as single mothers. Limitations, implications and suggestions for practice and future research are discussed.