Society for Social Work and Research

Sixteenth Annual Conference Research That Makes A Difference: Advancing Practice and Shaping Public Policy
11-15 January 2012 I Grand Hyatt Washington I Washington, DC

17275 Culturally Competent Intimate Partner Violence Risk Assessment: Creation and Testing of the Danger Assessment for Immigrant Women (DA-I)

Friday, January 13, 2012: 10:30 AM
Constitution D (Grand Hyatt Washington)
* noted as presenting author
Jill T. Messing, MSW, PhD, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Yvonne Amanor-Boadu, PhD, LMFT, Research Associate, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Courtenay Cavanaugh, PhD, Assistant Professor, Rutgers University-Camden, Camden, NJ
Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Background: Data from the Current Population Survey show that 12% of the U.S. population is foreign born (36.7 million people; Census, 2010). Rising immigration rates highlight the need for developing culturally competent social work practices for working with immigrant women who are victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). The field of IPV risk assessment (predicting recidivism, lethality) is fast growing; the majority of validation studies have been conducted within the past decade. One important and overlooked component of culturally competent practice is the development and use of culturally competent IPV risk assessment. Building off previously identified factors for IPV and recidivism among immigrant populations (social isolation, marginalization, acculturative stress, acculturation level, gender norms, patriarchal beliefs, men's downward mobility), this research reports on the creation and testing of an IPV risk assessment developed to predict reassault/severe reassault among immigrant women who are victims of IPV.

Methods: This study utilizes data from the Risk Assessment Validation Study (Campbell, 2005) to test the ability of risk factors included on the Danger Assessment (DA; a widely validated risk assessment) and additional immigrant-specific research-based risk factors to predict reassault/severe reassault at 6-month follow-up in an abused immigrant sample from the U.S. (n=145). Data were collected through structured telephone (32%) or in-person (68%) bilingual (Spanish/English) interviews. Relative Risk Ratios (RRRs) were calculated to examine the relationship of potential risk items to the outcomes of reassault/severe reassault at follow-up. The Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC; a graph of sensitivity versus 1-specificity) was used to examine predictive validity of the resulting risk assessment the Danger Assessment for Immigrant Women (DA-I) and to compare this risk assessment against the original DA and the victim's own assessment of risk for future violence.

Results: The sample was 66.89% Latina/Hispanic, 16.89% Black, 6.08% European/White, 5.41% Asian and 4.73% another race/Ethnicity. Approximately half of the sample was employed and 60% was married. Reassault was reported by 31.08% of the sample; severe reassault was reported by 21.95%. While many of the risk factors were similar to those observed in non-immigrant women, several unique risk factors were discovered to increase reassault/severe reassault among immigrant women including: higher acculturation, being married, having no children, victim unemployment, and indicators of lack of social support and isolation by the perpetrator. The DA-I ROC= 0.8513 for severe reassault and .7811 for reassault. The DA-I predicts future violence significantly better than the DA (reassault: X2=6.08, p<.05, severe: X2=15.52, p<.0001) and significantly better than victim prediction (reassault: X2=10.15, p<.005, severe: X2=18.07, p<.00005).

Conclusions: Including risk factors specific to immigrant women significantly increases the predictive validity of the DA and improves upon women's own predictions, demonstrating the need for IPV risk assessment to become tailored to specific groups in order to inform culturally competent social work practice. Immigration brings with it many shared structural inequalities and vulnerabilities that need to be considered in the assessment of risk and safety planning; future research should examine the predictive validity of this risk assessment on diverse samples and with specific immigrant groups.