Family Closeness and Domestic Abuse Among Caribbean and South American Women in South Florida

J Fam Violence. 2012 Aug;27(6):547-559. doi: 10.1007/s10896-012-9445-1. Epub 2012 Jun 5.


This paper focuses on the importance of family member closeness as a protective factor against domestic abuse. We explore the link between long-lasting relations within the family and intra-familial violence perpetrated against women in Latino households in South Florida. We use data from an Inter-generational Transmission of Drug Use between Latina Mothers and Daughters (ITDMD) study. The study includes data on family relations and domestic abuse. We estimate a series of multivariate regressions to obtain the probability of abuse against women, the types of abuse inflicted and the relationship with the abusers. Our results indicate that among abused women, the effects of long-lasting relations within the family differ depending on the type of relationship between the abuser and the victim and the degree of closeness the victim feels towards other family members. Given these findings, there is a need to further study family relations and abuse in Latino households.

Keywords: Abuse; Family relations; Intra-family violence; Latinas.