Methods: This study utilized a cross-sectional online survey design among South Asians adults. The study sample (N=468) was collected from all 50 U.S. States. The dependent variable, DV perceptions, was measured using four subscales of the Perceptions of and Attitudes toward Domestic Violence Questionnaire-Revised, which measure definitions of DV, attitudes toward the use of interpersonal violence, views about the causes of DV, and contextual justification of DV. The independent variables were acculturation, gender-role attitudes and socio-demographic variables such as gender, age, education, religiosity, income, marital status, family type, generational position, ethnicity and immigration status. Participant mean scores were used to report the perceptions of DV. Multiple regression was used to examine the correlates of DV perceptions among South Asians.
Results: Participants defined DV as physical, sexual, psychological, financial, immigration-related and in-laws abuse. Overall, participants did not sanction the use of force to solve family matters or between spouses. They attributed individual, structural and environmental causes to DV. For definitions of DV, the overall model was significant [F(12, 410)=9.253, p<0.001, R2=0.213]. Participants who were older (B=-0.396, p<0.01), those with higher education (B=-0.244, p<0.05) and with conservative gender-role attitudes (B=0.508, p<0.001) considered more types of violence as DV. For the attitudes toward the use of interpersonal violence, the overall model was significant [F(12, 410)=14.359, p<0.001, R2=0.296]. Individuals who were married/engaged (B=-0.314, p<0.01), belonging to the 1.5+ generation (B=-0.419, p<0.01) and with conservative gender-role attitudes (B=-0.601, p<0.01) were more likely to condone violence to solve family matters. For causes of DV, the overall model was significant [F(12, 407)=7.719, p<0.001, R2=0.185]. Female participants (B=-0.241, p<0.01), less acculturated (B=0.186, p<0.05) and those with progressive gender-role attitudes (B=0.552, p<0.001) attributed more causes to DV. For the contextual justification of DV, the overall model was statistically significant ([F (12, 410)]=3.776, p<0.001, R2=0.10]. Individuals with a lower income (B=0.259, p<0.259), those who were married/engaged (B=-0.261, p<0.05), less acculturated (B=0.292, p<0.01) and with conservative gender-role attitudes (B=-0.261, p<0.001) accepted more circumstances that justified the use of violence among couples.
Conclusion: The is the first study to examine South Asian community members’ DV perceptions, with a sample from all 50 U. S. states. Due to a limited number of culturally responsive interventions, there is an urgent need to integrate the findings of the present study and develop programs that can generate awareness and put an end to DV among South Asians. The perceptions and correlates of DV generated through the present study can be incorporated into interventions designed for South Asians. Ultimately, the study findings can be pivotal in serving as a foundation for scholars who are interested in conducting this type of research with diverse immigrant communities.