The Society for Social Work and Research

2013 Annual Conference

January 16-20, 2013 I Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina I San Diego, CA

Intimate Partner Violence Prevention in an Asian Indian Community: Campaign Reach and Impact

Friday, January 18, 2013: 9:00 AM
Nautilus 1 (Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina)
* noted as presenting author
Mieko Yoshihama, PhD, Professor, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI
Deborah Bybee, PhD, Professor, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Brenda Gillespie, PhD, Associate Director, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI
Background and Purpose:  The high prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) across all racial/ethnic groups calls for strong theory-based prevention programs for diverse communities.  However, socioculturally-tailored prevention programs remain limited.  To fill this gap, we developed, implemented, and evaluated a community-based IPV prevention program for an Asian Indian community, the second largest and fastest growing Asian group in the U.S.  Considering the enormous diversity among Asian Indians and the need to involve local leaders in planning, we focused on a single ethnic group: the Gujarati (gü-jə-rä-tē), who have their own language (Gujarati) and sociocultural norms. 

Methods:   Drawing from the theory of planned behavior, social exchange theory and feminist theories, we developed a prevention campaign (Campaign) to promote community norms of non-violence and respect for both genders.  Trained community members served on a Community Action Team and helped plan and implement a socioculturally tailored Campaign.  To examine Campaign reach and impact, we conducted telephone interviews, before and after the Campaign, with a random sample of Gujarati community members aged 18-64.  At Pre-Campaign, 431 individuals completed the interview (mean length 66.5 minutes); the response rate was 64.6%, and over 70% of them completed Post-Campaign interviews.  Using generalized linear modeling, we assessed pre-post Campaign changes in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors (KABBs) concerning IPV, such as attitudes toward gender roles, tolerance of IPV, and taking bystander action.

Results:  The Campaign lasted over 18 months and involved over 250 announcements in different ethnic radio stations, posters and other written materials displayed at community-based organizations and small businesses, and periodic newsletters mailed to over 1000 households.  The project’s websites received closely to 300 hits daily.  To reinforce media-based campaign messages, we conducted various community-based prevention activities, including community-wide events, film and theatrical presentations, training workshops, and house parties, many of which were organized in collaboration with community- and faith-based organizations.

At Post-Campaign interview, the majority of the respondents (60.6%) indicated having heard of the Campaign.  In addition, 13.9% reported having attended one or more Campaign events, and another 13.0%, having visited the project website at least once.  A small fraction of respondents (8.4%) said that they had not heard of the Campaign specifically but saw print material or webpage about IPV prevention in Asian Indian communities.

In most dimensions of KABBs examined, there was a dose-response type of effect, in that the magnitude of pre-and-post Campaign changes was associated with the level of exposure to campaign, with those who attended campaign event(s) having the largest change, followed by those who visited campaign website.  Those who had heard of the Campaign but did not attend any prevention event or visited project website did not show significant changes in KABBs at post-Campaign.

Conclusions and Implications:  The gradation effects of Campaign exposure suggest that while written materials and radio provided a wide reach, in order to effect changes in KABBs on a complex social issue such as IPV, opportunities for the target audience to engage in discussions may be more effective.