Premigration exposure to political violence and perpetration of intimate partner violence among immigrant men in Boston

Am J Public Health. 2009 Mar;99(3):462-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.120634. Epub 2008 Aug 13.


Objectives: We examined associations between premigration political violence exposure and past-year intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration among immigrant men attending community health centers in Boston.

Methods: A convenience sample of immigrant men (N = 379; aged 18-35 years), largely from the Caribbean and Cape Verde, who attend community health centers, completed an anonymous, cross-sectional survey on risk and protective factors for male-perpetrated IPV and respondents' exposure to political violence.

Results: One in 5 (20.1%) immigrant men reported that they were exposed to political violence before arrival in the United States. Men reporting political violence exposure were significantly more likely to report IPV perpetration than were men not reporting such exposure (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.84; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.41, 5.74). Significant associations with political violence exposure were observed for both physical (AOR = 2.69; 95% CI = 1.11, 6.54) and sexual (AOR = 2.37; 95% CI = 1.04, 5.44) IPV perpetration.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, our findings document for the first time the significant association between premigration political violence exposure and recent IPV perpetration among immigrant men. Additional work is needed to examine underlying mechanisms to inform culturally appropriate programs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Boston / epidemiology
  • Community Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Politics*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult