Methods: Data for this study was collected through computer-assisted telephone interviews conducted with a probability sample of Gujarati men and women, aged 18-64, in four urban counties in a Midwestern state in the U.S. A total of 431 participants completed the interview; many identified their faith in Hinduism and Jainism. The dependent variables were gender role attitudes and IPV-supporting attitudes, and the independent variables were religiosity, acculturation, and gender. Religiosity was measured by three variables on frequency of religious service attendance, frequency of private prayer, and perceived religiousness. Acculturation was measured as whether the participant grew up in the US or other western country. Using multiple linear regression analyses, we assessed the degree to which religiosity is associated with gender role attitudes and IPV-supporting attitudes.
Results: The findings show that the models fit the data well (all with p < 0.001) and that religiosity was significantly associated with gender role attitudes and IPV-supporting attitudes (ranged from p < 0.001 to p < 0.05). With an increase in religiosity, there was an increase in more traditional gender role attitudes and IPV-supporting attitudes. There were also significant relationships between acculturation and gender role attitudes and IPV-supporting attitudes; those who did not immigrate to the US or a western country before 17 years old endorsed more traditional gender role attitudes and IPV-supporting attitudes. However, gender was not associated with either attitudes.
Conclusions and Implications: Using a probability sample of a growing immigrant population and focus on previously under-studied faiths—Hinduism and Jainism, this study makes unique contribution to the study of the role of religiosity in gender role attitudes and IPV-supporting attitudes. The study findings suggest that religious leaders can play important roles on changing gender role attitudes and IPV-supporting attitudes. A faith-based IPV prevention model, which engages religious leaders in IPV prevention activities such as educating congregation members about healthy intimate relationships, may be an effective IPV prevention strategy among Gujaratis.