Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Maker, Azmaira

Second Advisor

Grych, John H.

Third Advisor

Aubin, Ed de St.


Existing family literature mostly excludes women who are East Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latina living in the United States. The present study sought to examine the prevalence, characteristics, and predictors of witnessing parental violence during childhood and relationship violence during adulthood across these four groups in the United States. 251 college-educated women from middle to high SES (South Asian/Middle Eastern, n=93; East Asian, n=72; Latina, N=86) completed a self-report survey to assess their experiences of witnessing parental violence and relationship violence. Results found that over 50% of each ethnic group experienced both witnessing parental violence and experiencing adult relationship violence, and differences were found between ethnic groups. Witnessing paternal psychological violence was the best predictor of participant victimization and participant aggression in adult relationships when examining maternal and paternal psychological, physical, and injury violence as risk factors. However, risk factors for relationship violence varied across ethnic groups. The results support the intergenerational transmission of violence, but also indicate that unique cultural factors must be considered when conceptualizing family violence among specific ethnic groups.



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