Neighborhoods and Intimate Partner Violence

By Emily M. Wright | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
THEORETICAL AND POLICY
IMPLICATIONS

This study examined the impact of neighborhood context on the problem of intimate partner violence perpetrated against females, and used the social disorganization perspective as its major theoretical framework. The effects of neighborhood structural characteristics and social mechanisms (e.g., collective efficacy) were examined using hierarchical modeling techniques. Based on the results presented in Chapter Five, three major conclusions can be drawn regarding neighborhood context and intimate partner violence. First, the findings from this study suggest that single versus multiple instances of IPV may be qualitatively different forms of violence that occur between partners. The prevalence and incidence of IPV were predicted by different individual-, couple-, and neighborhood-level factors, which raises the possibility that the two measures should not be considered the same type of violence. These results indicate that certain neighborhood factors create conditions which foster episodic violence, while other factors are related to persistent violence between partners.

Second, the results presented here demonstrate that neighborhood characteristics do significantly impact both the prevalence and incidence of intimate partner violence, even after individual- and couple-level predictors have been controlled. Specifically, concentrated immigration appears to be the most consistent structural predictor of IPV, while collective efficacy, social ties, aspects of culture, and physical disorder are predictive of certain forms of IPV (e.g., prevalence and incidence). The findings regarding these neighborhood conditions were largely consistent with the expectations of social disorganization theory, indicating that disorganization theory can be applied to the study of partner violence even though it often occurs in private.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the findings from this study suggest that partner violence is not purely an individual-level

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