Abstract: WITHDRAWN: Advancing Intersectionality Approaches in Intimate Partner Violence Research: A Social Justice Approach (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

WITHDRAWN: Advancing Intersectionality Approaches in Intimate Partner Violence Research: A Social Justice Approach

Friday, January 14, 2022
Liberty Ballroom K, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
* noted as presenting author
Iris Cardenas, PhD, LSW, Doctoral Student, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Background and Purpose: The application of social categories in intersectionality intimate partner violence (IPV) scholarship is common in comparative analyses of social groups. Yet, full consideration of the methods applied in research that uses social categories as means to understand diverse individuals has not been given. Since an array of factors, and their interplay, influence the IPV experiences of diverse individuals, research methods that attend to the intersecting oppressions that diverse groups face and accurately reflect their lived experiences are imperative. As such, this critical reflection paper provides direction to better incorporate the tenets of intersectionality when using social categories, particularly in quantitative research, with the aim to advance IPV research, and in turn, improve service delivery for survivors of diverse backgrounds.

Methods: IPV literature related to diverse groups was reviewed and methods essential to advance IPV research that engages in group comparisons was identified. Specifically, research using intercategorical (conducting analysis of social groups across categories) and intracategorical (subgroup differences within a category) approaches to intersectionality was examined. Through a discussion of the available statistical methods, this work illuminates the capacity of research to advance the implementation of intersectionality research practices. This synthesis focuses on discussing and guiding the application of specific statistical methods in IPV research to support refocusing on individuals of marginalized backgrounds. This paper encourages scholars to recognize the need for improved intercategorical and intracategorical approaches to intersectionality research and engage in critical analyses of structures of power–ultimately advancing social work research commitments of inclusivity and evidence-based practice.

Results: A framework to conduct research focusing on the tenets of intersectionality is presented to guide scholars in attending to the intersecting oppressions of groups that have often been left invisible, assure that the construction of knowledge properly reflects the lived experiences of participants, and explore whether structures may be inadvertently reproducing the subordination of specific groups of IPV survivors. This work demonstrates that evaluating participants’ social locations and established structures are linked to research directed at social justice. Three specific areas that form part of the tenets of intersectionality are highlighted: exploring the interacting effects of race and ethnicity (survivors’ social location) in IPV experiences; increasing cross-cultural scale validation (e.g., using multi-group confirmatory factor analysis) and engaging in evidence-based culturally-concordant services (critical analysis of structures).

Conclusions and Implications: As research among diverse communities increases, it is critical for the social work profession to ensure that fair progress is achieved for all IPV survivors. To build on the current knowledge and research efforts, intercategorical and intracategorical approaches to intersectional research necessitates to more fully capture the intended goal of intersectionality: produce knowledge that would allow us to take action towards social equality. Using the intersectional framework presented in this work will direct scholars to align their research with the tenets and goal of intersectionality as well as our profession’s commitments. This paper focused on three specific areas, which are currently scarce in IPV scholarship.