Abstract: A Culturally Competent Treatment for Asian Women Suffering from Intimate Partner Violence (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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A Culturally Competent Treatment for Asian Women Suffering from Intimate Partner Violence

Saturday, January 14, 2023
Hospitality 1 - Room 443, 4th Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Yan Yuan, PHD, LCSW, Postdoctoral Associate, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Christina E. Newhill, Ph.D., Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Deborah Moon, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Hyunji Lee, PhD, Postdoctoral scholar, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Sursatie Frazier, PHD, Licensed Psychologist, None
Kim Katie, Post-MSW, None, CT
Kailey Andrew, MSW Student, University of Pittsburgh, PA
Raveena Mohabir, None, None, NY
Background/Purpose: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant global problem that leads to a plethora of adversities among individuals and societies. IPV affects as many as 43.6 million women in the U.S. with an alarming knowledge gap regarding the incidence, prevalence and nature of IPV among Asian women in particular. Asian women endure complex IPV experiences exacerbated by sociocultural challenges such as immigrant status, acculturation stress, and linguistic and/or cultural barriers. In addition, such IPV survivors often endorse comorbid mental health conditions compounded by sociocultural factors, which adds to the challenge of developing a comprehensive yet affordable treatment. Collaborating with experts from Asian communities, we developed a novel intervention Integrated Psychosocial Program (IPP), targeting Asian women suffering from IPV. Guided by Meyer’s minority stress theory, we framed culturally-sensitive responses to the unique intersectional challenges facing Asian women who are victims of IPV.

Methods: This study presents results from a 12-week virtual IPP program, primarily addressing IPV-related psychological distress and emotional difficulties of a Chinese female, Linda, who was part of a larger clinical trial testing the acceptability, feasibility and efficacy of IPP. IPP is comprised of psychoeducation and cognitive-behavioral oriented trainings, with a special focus on cultural factors and emotion dysregulation (ED), a transdiagnostic construct related to IPV.

Measures: IPV-related psychological distress was measured by using Beck Depression Inventory-II and Beck Anxiety Inventory. IPV-related negative emotions were assessed by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule. Overall ED was measured by using the General Emotion Dysregulation Measure. Deficits in specific emotional domains were assessed by the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale. An adapted version of Cultural Competence Assessment (CCA) was used to generate cultural competence ratings of IPP. All the assessments (except for CCA) were administered upon recruitment, at the completion of the 12-week IPP, and at the 2-month follow-up.

Analyses: Pre-and-post-treatment data were plotted and visually inspected to indicate the overall level change, trend and latency in IPV-related symptoms and emotional difficulties of Linda. Post-treatment interview data were coded and categorized into three themes.

Results: Visual inspection of plots supports a trend of enhancing overall knowledge about IPV and decreasing depression and anxiety symptoms. While evaluating IPP, Linda provided high cultural competence ratings in aspects of (1) cultural awareness reflecting integration of cultural factors into psychoeducation sessions, (2) cultural sensitivity indicating clinicians’ positive attitudes towards cultural differences, and (3) cultural-competent behaviors such as “adapting sessions to cultural preferences”.

Conclusion and Implications: Findings obtained from our study will (1) inform timely, accurate and cultural-responsive screening and detection of IPV among Asian women; and (2) lay critical groundwork for effective, cultural-competent interventions as well as to inform future social policies benefiting Asian women who are facing intersectional stigma and are underserved in the health care system. Finally, we will continue to partner with community organizations, with a long-term goal of disseminating culturally-competent, evidence-based interventions at no cost to benefit a diversity of underserved vulnerable minority groups.