The association between immigrant generational status, child maltreatment history and intimate partner violence (IPV): evidence from a nationally representative survey

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Purpose—The extent to which immigrant-specific factors influence the intergenerational transmission of family violence is unknown. The objectives of this paper are to examine the associations between immigrant generational status (IGS), child maltreatment (CM), intimate partner violence (IPV) and acculturation (i.e., the extent to which an individual adopts the values, language and attitudes of a new culture). Methods—The sample was drawn from wave two of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC; n = 34,653), a nationally representative survey of United States (US) residents aged 20 years and older. Logistic regression was used to estimate the associations between IGS, CM history, IPV, and acculturation. Results—Compared to 3rd generation (or later) respondents, 1st generation immigrants were less likely to report a history of sexual (AOR = 0.74, CI0.95 = 0.62, 0.90) and emotional abuse (AOR = 0.69, CI0.95 = 0.55, 0.87), but were more likely to report physical neglect (AOR = 1.30, CI0.95 = 1.11, 1.52). After adjusting for covariates, IGS was not associated with IPV among respondents with or without a CM history. Among those without a CM history, highly acculturated 1st generation immigrants (AOR = 1.07, CI0.95 = 1.01, 1.13) were more likely to report perpetrating IPV, with highly acculturated 3rd generation respondents having lower odds of reporting IPV perpetration (AOR = 0.93, CI0.95 = 0.88–1.00). Conclusion—IGS and acculturation are important factors in CM and IPV. Longitudinal studies are needed to clarify the influence of IGS, recency of immigration, acculturation and acculturative stress on the experiences and relationship between CM and IPV.