Are All Latino Batterers the Same? An Exploratory Look at Puerto Rican, Brazilian and American Born Abusers in New England

Richard Greenleaf, Western Oregon University
Jessica Hodge, Western Oregon University
Maureen Dolan, Western Oregon University

This exploratory study of domestic violence in New England examines the influence of country of birth on a sample of Latino batterers. A comparison of 140 Hispanic batterers born in the United States, Puerto Rico, Brazil and other South American nations reveals significant differences between the groups. Abusers from Puerto Rico are significantly more likely to have a criminal history of domestic violence and substance abuse. They are also less likely than other Latinos to be married to their victims. These findings are congruent with prior studies, which conclude that levels of American acculturation appear to be associated with patterns of abuse among Hispanics. Our study emphasizes the importance of researchers treating Hispanics as a heterogenous group rather than a homogenous one.

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Updated 05/20/2006