Psychological health in Asian and Caucasian women who have experienced domestic violence: the role of ethnic background, social support, and coping

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2004

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Lee, Joohee

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This study examined the relationship between domestic violence and psychological outcomes among women who have experienced domestic violence. This study also focused on the potential mediating effects of social support and coping strategies on the relationship between violence and psychological outcomes. With two ethnic groups of Caucasian and Asian women, this study explored the explanatory role of coping and social support with regard to possible differences in psychological effects as a result of violence across ethnic groups. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the relationships among the level of violence, perceived social support, coping strategies, and psychological outcomes, within the context of stress-coping theory and social support models. This study consists of a sample of 100 Caucasian women and 61 Asian women who have experienced domestic violence during the past year and were recruited from domestic violence agencies in Texas and California. Central hypotheses regarding perceived social support and coping as a mediator of the relationship between domestic violence and psychological outcomes were supported in the combined group analysis. It was found that there was an indirect effect of violence on psychological outcomes through mediating variables of perceived social support and passive coping. A comparison of Caucasian women and Asian women indicated that the relationships among level of violence, perceived social support, copings, and psychological outcomes vary across ethnic groups. In the Caucasian group, there was an indirect effect of violence on psychological outcomes through the mediating variables of perceived social support and passive coping. On the other hand, in the Asian group, there was a strong relationship between violence and psychological outcomes, while the mediating effects of perceived social support and coping were not found. The implications for social work practice, policy, and future research were delineated.

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