skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 194587 Find in a Library
Title: Comparative Study of Battered Women and Their Children in Italy and the United States
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:17  Issue:1  Dated:March 2002  Pages:53-74
Author(s): Laura A. McCloskey; Michaela Treviso; Theresa Scionti; Giuliana dal Pozzo
Date Published: March 2002
Page Count: 22
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This is a comparative study of 82 battered women with children who sought counseling in Italy and the United States.
Abstract: The goals of the study were to compare specific risk factors and psychological consequences related to domestic violence across three ethnic groups (Italian, Anglo-American, and Mexican) in the two countries. Among the risk factors examined were men's substance use and unemployment, women's unemployment, social isolation from extended family networks, and lack of social resources. In 1991 this study completed interviews with 50 Anglo and Mexican women who were staying in shelters in the Southwestern United States. Most of the Mexican women in the American sample spoke Spanish, indicating strong cultural and recent ties to Mexico. In 1992 the study involved interviews with 32 Roman women who had contacted the hotline for battered women and had come to the hotline offices for counseling. The interview protocol included questions about the husbands' abuse of the mother and her children, employment status and sociodemographics, social and family support networks, the mother's history of abuse in her family of origin, and her current mental health symptoms. The mother was also asked about the psychological symptoms of one of her children. The study found that battered women in Italy were more likely to be married to their abusers and to have endured more years of violence than women in the United States. Descriptions of violence in the home were similar in frequency and severity across groups, although fewer Italian women (30 percent) reported sexual abuse from their partners than either Hispanic or Anglo-American women (more than 70 percent). Drinking was strongly associated with domestic violence in the United States, but not in Italy. Women and children showed elevated psychological symptoms. Across ethnic groups, the average child exposed to marital violence was within the clinical range according to the Child Behavior Checklist, although Mexican children showed slightly fewer overall symptoms. Italian children were less likely to display conduct problems than American children of any ethnic origin. Although there were few differences in the impact of abuse, the catalysts and family circumstances were apparently different across cultures. Study limitations are discussed. 1 table, 3 figures, and 38 references
Main Term(s): Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Battered wives; Caucasian/White Americans; Cross-cultural analyses; Cross-cultural comparisons; Domestic assault; Domestic violence causes; Hispanic Americans; Italy; United States of America; Violence causes
Note: Results from this study were presented at the Second International Conference on Family Psychology July 1994, Padua, Italy.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.