"I'm a mother first": The influence of mothering in the decision-making processes of battered immigrant Latino women

Res Nurs Health. 2009 Jun;32(3):286-97. doi: 10.1002/nur.20327.


Healthcare providers (HCPs) may be perplexed by the decision-making processes of battered Latino women in situations involving intimate partner violence (IPV). In particular, decisions may appear contradictory and hazardous to the women's children. The findings of this interpretive descriptive study reveal that the mothering role was central to battered Latina mothers' decisions. The mothers strove to prioritize, protect, and provide for their children in every way, including managing the abuse and avoiding IPV disclosure to HCPs. Disparate understandings of the women's decisions and mothering create a Catch-22 between battered Latina mothers and their HCPs. A trusting mother-HCP relationship is necessary for effective screening and intervention for IPV. This requires HCPs' understanding of these mothers' decisions and changes in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology
  • Battered Women / psychology*
  • Decision Making*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Feminism
  • Focus Groups
  • Gender Identity
  • Hispanic or Latino / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Maternal Behavior / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • New England
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Safety
  • Spouse Abuse / ethnology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires