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Exploring the Influence of Self-Control and Assimilation on Intimate Partner Violence: A Longitudinal Analysis

This study looks at the relationship between social and cultural assimilation and lack of self-control to explain intimate partner violence.

Published onNov 30, 2023
Exploring the Influence of Self-Control and Assimilation on Intimate Partner Violence: A Longitudinal Analysis

Abstract: Prior scholarly inquiry into victimization consistently highlighted the significance of low self-control as a predisposing factor for heightened vulnerability to victimization. While existing literature has extensively examined the influence of low self-control across diverse demographic samples, a notable gap exists in the body of research concerning the effect of low self-control on intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization and the role of assimilation. This study utilizes two waves of Add Health data to examine the relationship between low self-control and IPV victimization as well as the influence of assimilation on this association. Findings from the logistic regressions reveal that low self-control significantly increased the risk of IPV victimization and the relationship is robust across all models. Assimilation did not moderate the relationship between the two variables, instead, it had an independent effect on IPV victimization. Individuals with higher levels of assimilation were more likely to experience IPV victimization. Policy implications are discussed. 

 Keywords: Diverse Groups, Low Self-Control, Assimilation, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)



Intimate partner violence (IPV) refers to any behavior within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological, or sexual harm to those in the relationship (Garcia-Moreno et al., 2012). The number of IPV episodes and the intensity of those episodes vary. The victimization may range from one episode of violence to multiple episodes over multiple years. Regardless of intensity and the number of episodes, IPV correlates with serious mental and physical health issues and economic consequences. This should be concerning because IPV affects millions of people in the United States each year. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (Leemis, 2022), approximately 41% of women and 26% of men experience IPV during their lifetime. The effects of IPV include injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fearing for their safety, needing help from law enforcement, and missing work. Among the immigrant population, past-year IPV victimization ranges from 3.8% to 46.9% and lifetime IPV victimization ranges from 13.9% to 93% (Morrison et al., 2023). Correlates of IPV victimization include living in poverty, having a low level of education, being part of a minority group, and living in communities where violence and crime are common (Spencer et al., 2022). In addition to these risk factors, the level of assimilation and an individual’s level of self-control may correlate with the person’s likelihood of victimization.

Some research illustrates that individuals who lack self-control tend to act impulsively, seeking short-term immediate pleasures. They have a propensity for risk-seeking and prefer activities that provide excitement. Individuals with low self-control also tend to be self-centered and insensitive to the wants and needs of others. When faced with frustrating situations and circumstances, those with low self-control often lose their temper and resort to aggressive coping strategies. Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990) maintain the etiology of crime is low self-control and, by extension, victimization. Specifically, the attributes of low self-control create situations whereby individuals become more prone to being a target of a variety of crimes including IPV.

Victimization studies indicate that low self-control is linked to several types of IPV including hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, burning, strangulation, the use of weapons, and kidnapping (Ager, 2021; Booth et al., 2010; Emery et al., 2014; Cooper et al., 2017; Pratt et al., 2014; Taverna & Marshall, 2023). Mounting empirical evidence demonstrates low self-control is related to higher instances of IPV (Luo & Bouffard, 2016; Pratt et al., 2014; Taverna & Marshall, 2023). What is less clear is whether there is an association between low self-control, assimilation, and IPV. Assimilation is the process of adopting customs, values, beliefs, and practices of the dominant culture, involving the integrating of individuals or groups from diverse cultural backgrounds into the prevailing social, economic, and cultural structures of the host society, commonly observed among immigrants or minority groups (Alba, 2023). Its societal implications are manifold. Firstly, assimilation fosters social cohesion by bridging cultural gaps and nurturing unity, contributing to heightened social harmony (Alba, 2023). Secondly, it is closely linked to economic integration, enhancing employment prospects and overall economic well-being as individuals or groups adapt to the economic structures of the host society.

Additionally, assimilation facilitates cultural exchange, enabling the adoption of elements from different cultures and enriching the cultural tapestry. It has the potential to mitigate social tensions by minimizing cultural conflicts and promoting understanding and cooperation among diverse segments of the population (Alba, 2023).  Lastly, it serves as a gateway to enhanced social mobility, allowing individuals access to superior educational and employment opportunities through the adoption of language and cultural practices associated with the dominant group. However, it is crucial to acknowledge criticisms of assimilation for potentially erasing cultural diversity, suppressing identities, and perpetuating inequalities. The delicate balance between assimilation's benefits and the preservation of cultural diversity remains a complex and ongoing societal challenge. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate whether assimilation influences the relationship between low self-control and IPV.

 Literature Review

Gottfredson and Hirschi’s (1990) theory of self-control posits that individuals who have low self-control tend to exhibit characteristics that include being rash or impulsive, insensitive, physical, risk-taking, and non-verbal. Attributes like low self-control can lead individuals to be involved in hazardous social environments. For example, interacting with deviant peer groups or getting involved in illegal occupations are common among those with low self-control (Dodson, 2009). In these circumstances, individuals disregard the long-standing consequences of their actions and focus on the immediate rewards. Thus, they are more prone to participate in behaviors they perceive as immediately gratifying which leads them to engage in criminal activities (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). Pratt and Cullen (2000) performed a meta-analysis studying the empirical status of self-control theory and established self-control deficit as a resilient predictor for offending regardless of measurement variations.

Walker and Goodman (2015) interviewed male respondents to understand how male perpetrators of IPV “utilize notions of self-control in their narratives of violence to account for their use of violence” (p.1316). The traditional view and ideologies of control within IPV concern the control of others (Dobash & Dobash, 1977; Walker & Goodman, 2015). These approaches maintain men’s violence against women occurs from masculine values and these values contribute to provoking men to seek control over women’s behavior, so violence is a mechanism for them to do this (DeKeseredy, 2011). IPV is seen as a function of economic and social pressure where a male’s violent actions resort to his need to maintain control by deciding his partner’s behavior (Dobash & Dobash, 1977; Walker & Goodman, 2015). IPV is presented as a response to a male’s feelings of being powerless and compromised by a loss of control over a partner and or the mere perception of losing power based on the following ideas: men who believe women legitimately deserve it, based on culture and tradition, and their need to retain dominance in an intimate relationship (Bowen, 2011; Dutton, 1995; Sugihara & Warner, 2002; Walker & Goodman, 2015).

Some theories suggest that self-control when viewed as an independent variable plays a pivotal role in crime and violence (Baumeister & Boden, 1998; Burton et al., 1998; Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990; Nagin & Land, 1993). Nonetheless, data examined from numerous studies establishes that self-control does not remain over time initially reported and thus, this indicates it is more of an adaptable state (Burt et al., 2006; Walker & Goodman, 2015). When viewing self-control in the framework of a violent relationship, evidence implies support for an association between self-control and the perpetration of IPV with distinctive conclusions that indicate a lower level of self-control is connected with increased levels of IPV (Finkel et al., 2009; Gover et al., 2011; Kerley et al., 2008; Walker & Goodman, 2015).

Gover et al. (2011) reported that low levels of self-control predicted the perpetration of physical and psychological IPV in males and it remained stable cross-culturally. Kerley et al. (2008) found that IPV was differentially connected with various components of self-control such as impulsivity, low frustration, and tolerance where a high amount of physical and psychological factors related to IPV. These factors all together call into question what evidence of self-control as an independent variable is really associated with explaining IPV. Walker and Goodman (2015) pointed out the importance of understanding this from an intervention perspective. There is limited research addressing men’s talk regarding IPV (Walker & Goodman, 2015). Fundamentally, this type of research is regarded as crucial to explain what drives men to be involved in IPV situations (Walker & Goodman, 2015). The study underscores a notable research gap in understanding men's discussions about intimate IPV, as identified by Walker and Goodman (2015). This particular research area is crucial as it has the potential to reveal the factors motivating men's involvement in IPV. In this context, “assimilation” refers to how individuals, particularly the men in this study, adopt cultural norms, behaviors, and values from their social environment. Exploring men’s conversations about IPV aims to untangle the complexities of assimilation, shedding light on how cultural factors shape attitudes, beliefs, and behavior related to intimate partner violence. This exploration is vital for developing interventions that effectively consider and address the cultural dimensions contributing to IPV perpetration among men.

Assimilation, like low self-control, is associated with several negative outcomes. For example, research shows assimilation increases the likelihood of psychological stress (Cuevas et al., 2011), delinquency (Bui, 2009; Chen, 2010; Greenman & Xie, 2008; Morenoff & Astor, 2006), risky sexual behavior (Chen, 2010), substance abuse (Nagasawa et al., 2001; Portes & Rumbaut, 2001), violence (Sommers et al., 1994), and crime (Greenman & Xie, 2008). In addition, assimilation and negative outcomes appear to be stable across diverse ethnic groups, including Hispanic, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean populations (Lee, 1998; Lee & Martinez, 2006; Miller, 2011). Research also shows a higher degree of assimilation is related to an increase in the likelihood of engaging in criminal behavior (Greenman & Xie, 2008; Morenoff & Astor, 2006). Further, within the same immigrant groups, there appear to be generational differences. Among most ethnic groups second and third-generation youths are significantly more likely than first-generation youths to engage in delinquency (Bui & Thongniramol, 2005; Lopez & Miller, 2011; Nagasawa et al., 2001). First-generation Hispanic immigrants, for example, are less likely to engage in delinquency than second and third-generation immigrants (Miller, 2011).  Likewise, a similar pattern is present among Asian immigrants (Bui & Thongniramol, 2005). Researchers believe as immigrants assimilate into the dominant society, their commitment to the ethnic value system declines resulting in weak family bonds (see e.g., Morenoff & Astor, 2006). In addition, assimilation hinders a parent’s ability to adequately supervise their children, which diminishes informal social control and leads to higher levels of criminal involvement (Morenoff & Astor, 2006).

The research on the role of assimilation on victimization is limited, but it indicates assimilation is related to increased victimization (see Luo & Bouffard, 2016). Gibson and Miller (2010), in an analysis of Hispanic immigrants, show that assimilation is a risk factor for victimization, with greater assimilation being associated with an increased likelihood of violent victimization. Likewise, Peguero’s (2009) analysis of data from the Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002 indicates that assimilation is significantly associated with immigrants’ increased likelihood of victimization. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of low self-control on IPV and whether assimilation impacts the association between low self-control and IPV.

In addition to assimilation and low self-control, other variables such as alcohol use, suicidal ideation, and childhood abuse experience have also been found to be related to IPV victimization.  Alcohol use can be both a risk factor for experiencing IPV and a consequence of exposure to IPV. Individuals who have witnessed or experienced IPV in their homes may turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism, which can further increase their vulnerability to becoming involved in violent relationships (Malamut et al., 2022). Adolescents who engage in alcohol use as a coping mechanism due to experiences of violence might carry these behaviors into their adult relationships. This can perpetuate a cycle of violence where alcohol use becomes intertwined with patterns of abusive behavior or victimization in intimate relationships. Alcohol use can lower inhibitions and impair judgment, leading to increased aggression or violent behavior, which may contribute to a higher likelihood of involvement in IPV either as a victim or perpetrator (Malamut et al., 2022). While under the influence of alcohol, individuals often make impulsive decisions that contribute to conflict or aggression within their relationships. This impaired decision-making can exacerbate already volatile situations and escalate conflicts into violence. 

Researchers have found that there is a strong correlation between suicidal thoughts and IPV victimization (Khalifeh & Dean, 2010). Individuals with mental health challenges such as depression and suicide ideation are at heightened risk of experiencing victimization (Khalifed & Deans, 2010; Lehrer et al., 2006; McPherson et al., 2007). People with mental health problems are more likely to be in an abusive relationship and subject to IPV victimization. A history of child abuse is also an important factor as studies have shown a link between experiences of child abuse or neglect and later involvement in IPV, whether as a victim or as a perpetrator. Understanding this relationship is crucial for several reasons. First, there is often a cycle of violence where individuals who experience or witness abuse during childhood might be at a higher risk of either becoming victims or perpetrators of IPV in adulthood (Evans et al., 2022). Second, children who witness or experience abuse in the home may learn that violence is a normative way of expressing emotions or resolving conflicts. This learned behavior perpetuates the cycle of violence as children move into adulthood, continuing the pattern across generations. Finally, experiencing abuse during childhood also contributes to emotional, psychological, and social vulnerabilities, which can increase the likelihood of being involved in abusive relationships later in life. It can shape one’s perceptions of relationships and influence behaviors in future intimate relationships (Evans et al., 2022).

Previous literature has suggested that immigrants bear some unique characteristics compared to non-immigrants. The assimilation experience impacts various aspects of their lives, such as victimization. This research investigates whether low self-control influences IPV victimization as a specific type of victimization and how assimilation may intervene in this relationship. This study examines two research questions: 1) Does low self-control influence IPV victimization among diverse groups? 2) How does assimilation influence the relationship between low self-control and intimate partner violence? Based on the prior literature, this study hypothesizes that: 1) Low self-control increases the risk of IPV victimization. 2) Assimilation moderates the relationship between low self-control and IPV victimization. Four models will be performed to test the hypotheses. Model 1 includes all control and independent variables except for assimilation and low self-control. Model 2 estimates the effect of low self-control and all other variables on IPV victimization. To support hypothesis 1, low self-control should be a significant factor when all other factors are controlled. Model 3 assesses the effect of assimilation. The interaction between low self-control and assimilation will be added to Model 4. To support the second hypothesis, the effect of low self-control may be attenuated or disappear, and the interaction term must be significant. 



This study used publicly available data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health; Harris, 2009). Add Health is a longitudinal study of adolescents in Grades 7-12. The 1994-95 cohort has been followed into young adulthood at different time periods with in-home interviews. This data contains a nationally representative, stratified, and random sample of 26,666 American high schools and 27,000 in-home surveys of adolescents. The study oversampled Asian and Hispanic adolescents. The scope of the Add Health (Harris, 2009) data covers respondents’ family background, relationships, psychological background, and victimization experiences. Wave I and Wave III of the publicly available data were used in this analysis. The Wave I data was collected between 1994 and 1995, and the Wave III data collection was conducted in 2001 and 2002. Sampling weights are created for each wave because of the unequal probability of selection. The logistic models are estimated with sampling weights and robust standard errors in Stata SE17. Multicollinearity diagnostic shows that all VIF values are smaller than 4 indicating no multicollinearity issues.


Dependent Variable

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).  The dependent variable IPV is measured by three items that gauge adolescents’ intimate partner violence victimization experience during the past 12 months. The respondents were asked how frequently they have the following IPV victimization experience: (1) Your partner threatened you with violence, pushed or shoved you, or threw something at you that could hurt; (2) Your partner slapped, hit, or kicked you; (3) You had an injury, such as a sprain, bruise, or cut because of a fight with your partner. The responses were dichotomized; individuals who reported one or more IPV victimization experiences were coded as victims and others as non-victims (a=.78).

 Independent Variables

Seven independent variables were included in the analysis including alcohol use, suicide tendency, assimilation, child abuse experience, low self-control, and victimization in Wave I and Wave III. Alcohol use has been found to be an important factor that influences individuals’ victimization experience. Alcohol use of the respondents in this study was assessed by asking how many days they drank alcohol during the past 12 months. The responses were grouped into 1 = never, 2 = 1 or 2 days in the past 12 months, 3 = once a month or less, 4 = 2 or 3 days/month, 5 = 1 or 2 days/week, 6 = 3-5 days/week, and 7 = everyday/almost every day. The variable suicide ideation was measured by asking respondents if they had seriously thought about committing suicide during the past year. The responses were coded as 0 (no) and 1 (yes).

Assimilation is a composite scale measured by four language items: (1) Do they often buy recorded music that is sung in a language other than English; (2) Do they often read newspapers, watch television shows, or listen to radio programs that are in a language other than English; (3) What language do they use most with their family and close relatives; and (4) What language do they use most with their close friends. Responses were categorized as 0 = non-English or 1 = English. Higher scores indicate higher levels of assimilation. Cronbach’s alpha was .68 for this scale. Childhood abuse taps into adolescents’ mistreatment experience by adults before they started 6th grade. This variable was measured by one item: The frequency with which respondents’ parents or other adult caregivers slapped, hit, or kicked them. The responses range from never to more than 10 times.

The Add Health data contain several indicators of low self-control and have been widely used as good measures of self-control (Boisvert et al., 2013). At Wave III, respondents were asked how true each of the following statements was: (1) They often try new things just for fun or thrills, even if most people think they are a waste of time; (2) When nothing new is happening, they usually start looking for something exciting; (3) They often do things based on how they feel at the moment; (4) They sometimes get so excited that they lose control of themselves; (5) They like it when people can do whatever they want, without strict rules and regulations; (6) They often follow their instincts, without thinking through all the details. Responses were grouped as 0 = not true, 1 = a little true, 2 = somewhat true, 3 = pretty true, or 4 = very true. Higher scores indicate lower levels of self-control. The Cronbach’s alpha for this scale is .85.

The Add Health survey also includes several questions assessing the participants’ exposure to other non-IPV victimization at both Wave I and Wave III. For example, at Wave III, respondents were asked whether someone had pulled a knife or gun on them, someone had shot them, someone had stabbed them, they were beaten up, but nothing was stolen from them, and they were beaten up and something was stolen from them. These items have been demonstrated to be valid measures of victimization in many other studies and have good scale reliability (Beaver et al., 2013). The reliability for the Wave I victimization scale is .71 and .67 for the Wave III victimization scale.

 Control Variables

Demographic variables are controlled in the analysis. This study controls for gender, age, race, education, and income status of the respondents. Gender was measured by 0 = male and  1= female. Age was a continuous variable ranging from 18 to 28 years old. Race was grouped into four categories: White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic. Education was a continuous variable with the lowest level being sixth grade and five or more years of graduate school being the highest level. Income measures the respondents’ economic status. This variable was coded into 8 categories ranging from less than 10,000 to more than 75,000.

 Table 1. Descriptive Statistics





IPV victimization





73.6% (2,877)




26.4% (1,034)








45.6% (1,831)




54.5% (2,181)












62.7% (2,488)




22.3% (887)




4.3% (172)




10.7% (424)











Alcohol use




















Child abuse




Low self-control




Victimization wave I





61.1% (2,439)




38.9% (1,533)



Victimization wave III





92.3% (3,674)




  7.7% (306)









Descriptive statistics of the sample are reported in Table 1. Gender was relatively evenly distributed with 45.6% of males and 54.5% of females. The average age was 21.8 years old. Regarding racial composition, 62.7% of them were White, 22.3% were Black, 4.3% were Asian, and 10.7% were Hispanic respondents. The mean for education is 13.2, which indicates that the average level of education fell into the “2 years of college” category. The mean income is 2.3 and represents an average yearly income of $15,000 to $19,999.

Results show that among this group of respondents, a minority of respondents did not experience IPV victimization with only 26.4% reporting an IPV victimization experience. In terms of the independent variables, the mean for alcohol use is 2.1 which means on average respondents drank once a month or less during the past 12 months of the interview. About 93% of the respondents in this sample did not show a serious tendency to commit suicide while only 6.6% of them indicated having seriously considered committing suicide. The mean assimilation score was 3.6 which indicates that, on average, respondents have high levels of assimilation. The rate of child abuse victimization is relatively low; 73.3% of them reported never being victimized by their adult caregivers. The mean level of self-control is 17.6 which means respondents in general possess high levels of self-control. In terms of victimization, 38.9% reported having been victimized at Wave I while about 7.7% responded having victimization experience at Wave III. This represented a substantial difference in non-IPV victimization which may be attributed to the age range of individuals between 18 and 28 at wave III. Consequently, they were less likely to experience victimization such as having something stolen or being physically assaulted by someone.

 Table 2

Differences in Key Variables by Race/Ethnicity


IPV victimization

Low self-control



24.3% (n = 591)

17.71 (6.48)

3.80 (0.53)


30.2% (n = 261)

17.00 (6.72)

3.69 (0.62)


25.5% (n = 42)

18.32 (6.07)

3.13 (1.11)


29.4% (n = 120)

18.08 (6.92)

2.40 (1.32)





Note: ***< .001; **< .01; *< .05


The differences in IPV victimization, self-control, and assimilation by race/ethnicity are presented in Table 2. For IPV victimization, the rate varies significantly among the four groups. Black respondents in this sample had the highest rate (30.2%) followed by Hispanics (29.4%) and Asians (25.5%); Whites reported the lowest IPV victimization rate (24.3%). Regarding low self-control, Asian respondents reported having the lowest levels of self-control while Blacks had the highest level of self-control. The differences among the four groups were statistically significant. The levels of assimilation ranged between 1 to 4 and varied significantly across the groups. Whites (3.8) and Blacks (3.69), for example, had significantly higher levels of assimilation in comparison to Asians (3.11) and Hispanics (2.4). The pattern of IPV victimization did not coincide well with the patterns of either low self-control or assimilation.

Four logistic regressions were performed to test the hypotheses. Table 3 presents results from the logistic regressions. Model 1 includes a set of demographic and independent variables. Data shows that demographic variables such as gender, race, education, and income, were significantly related to IPV victimization. Compared to males, female respondents were more likely to be victimized (B = .503, p < .001). Among the four racial/ethnic groups, Blacks showed a higher likelihood of IPV victimization in comparison to their White counterparts (B = .427, p < .001). There were no significant differences between Asians, Hispanics, and Whites in the likelihood of IPV victimization. Education was inversely related to IPV victimization. That is, individuals with higher educational levels were less likely to experience IPV victimization (B = -.157, p < .001). Income was associated with an increased chance of IPV victimization among these groups of respondents (B = .060, p < .01) with lower income being associated with higher rates of IPV.

  Table 3

   Logistic Regression Results


Model 1


Model 2


Model 3


Model 4













































































































Alcohol use
























Child abuse












Victimization W1












Victimization W3












Low self-control
























Assimilation*Low Self-control



































Note: ***<.001; **<.01; *<.05


Both alcohol use and suicidal ideation increased the risk of IPV victimization. For instance, respondents who drank more alcohol were also more likely to suffer from IPV victimization (B = .113, p < .01). Those who have seriously thought about committing suicide had a higher likelihood of becoming IPV victims (B = .902, p < .001). Likewise, individuals who were mistreated during their childhood were more likely to become IPV victims (B = .134, p < .001). Other violent victimization experiences were significantly predictive of IPV victimization; victimization experiences at Wave I (B = .314, p < .01) and Wave III (B = .655, p < .001) were both related to an increased risk of IPV victimization.

Low self-control was added to model 2. Gender, race, and education remain significant in this model; the impact of income was reduced to non-significant after adding low self-control. All the independent variables demonstrated significant effects on IPV victimization in the same manner as in model 1. Consistent with prediction, low self-control was positively associated with IPV victimization and increased the likelihood of IPV victimization (B = .031, p < .01). Assimilation was added to model 3. The significant effect of control variables and independent variables including low self-control remained.  Assimilation was associated with an increased risk of IPV victimization (B = .135, p < .05). Respondents with higher levels of assimilation were more likely to report IPV victimization. The interaction term between assimilation and low self-control was further added to model 4. The interaction terms did not show any significant impact on IPV victimization (B = .003, p > .05). Low self-control and assimilation were still significantly predictive of IPV victimization.



Many studies performed on assimilation have focused on self-control as a variable which has led to mixed findings (Ager, 2021; Greenman & Xie, 2008). Empirical studies have concluded that self-control is a robust predictor of both offending and victimization (Boisvert et al., 2013). Currently, studies around this topic have overlooked a critical lens where there is a possibility to examine the influence of assimilation and its’ link between self-control on IPV victimization (Ager, 2021). This study examined the impact of low self-control on IPV victimization and how assimilation influences the relationship between low self-control and IPV victimization.

The results supported the first hypothesis that low self-control significantly increased the likelihood of being an IPV victim. The second hypothesis was not supported; low self-control remained a robust predictor of IPV victimization after adding assimilation and the interaction term. The interaction term did not demonstrate any significant effect. The findings indicate that assimilation did not moderate the association between low self-control and IPV victimization, instead, it has an independent effect on IPV victimization. Empirical research has found that assimilation is associated with a variety of risk factors among immigrant groups such as a higher chance of engaging in criminal activities and elevated levels of victimization (Gibson & Miller, 2010; Greenman & Xie, 2008; Hefner et al., 2022). Adding to this line of literature, assimilation in this current study increased individuals’ chances of being IPV victims.

The diverse groups from this study encompassed the following groups: Whites, Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics. Regarding IPV, victimization rates varied notably among the four groups. Black participants reported the highest rate of victimization at 30.2 %, followed by Hispanics at 29.4% and Asians at 25.5%. Whites at 24.3% reported the lowest levels of IPV victimization. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, basic descriptive statistics show that Blacks reported the highest levels of IPV victimization, followed by Hispanics. After controlling for all other factors in the logistic regression model, being Black significantly increased the chance of IPV victimization.

Our study highlights how racial disparities in IPV victimization underscore the necessity of tailored approaches. Tailored interventions should address the unique challenges encountered by diverse racial and ethnic groups, with a focus on fostering collaborative outreach. This involves engaging community leaders, groups, and law enforcement in joint efforts to raise awareness about IPV, its consequences, and available assistance tailored to specific racial communities. In addition, it would be beneficial to link collaborative outreach with the idealism of cultural sensitivity. Doing so would occupy the varying support services to align with cultural norms, which also would enhance the effectiveness of interventions, and ensure they resonate with various racial groups. In our study, we also emphasize how higher levels of education are linked to lower levels of IPV in all four models.

Policy Implications

 In light of the revelations from our study indicating a heightened risk of intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization among individuals attempting to assimilate, urgent policy changes are warranted. A paramount policy recommendation is to establish culturally sensitive and tailored intervention programs that address the unique challenges faced by assimilating individuals. These programs should encompass educational initiatives, outreach efforts, and support services specifically designed to resonate with diverse communities. Furthermore, there is a critical need to enhance language access services to bridge communication gaps and ensure that victims from various linguistic backgrounds can readily seek assistance. 

Policymakers should consider amending legal protections to account for the specific vulnerabilities associated with assimilation, creating an environment where victims feel secure in reporting incidents without fear of cultural, social, or legal repercussions. Inter-agency collaboration is pivotal, necessitating coordinated efforts between law enforcement, social services, healthcare providers, and community organizations to provide a holistic response. Lastly, ongoing research endeavors should be supported to continually refine policies based on evolving empirical evidence, ultimately fostering a comprehensive and adaptive approach to addressing the intersection of assimilation and IPV victimization.

We also recommend more educational resources and community support programs for populations such as those who participated in our study. Discovering that higher education is associated with reduced IPV incidents highlights the importance of accessible, quality education in mitigating relationship violence. Implementing educational initiatives such as designing programs focused on healthy relationship dynamics and conflict resolution equips individuals with skills for managing relationships nonviolently. Moreover, policy support in advocating for accessible education indirectly contributes to lower IPV rates by affording resources and opportunities for personal growth and empowerment. Our study also demonstrates that alcohol use and suicidal ideation increase the risk of IPV. The linkages between alcohol use, suicidal ideation, and heightened IPV risk necessitate comprehensive interventions. These interventions could include positive solutions to the combating of substance abuse. This would include integrating substance abuse prevention and treatment with IPV support to address the role of substances in exacerbating violence. Also, offering and funding more mental health services is key because providing accessible mental health support to diverse populations also addresses underlying factors that are contributing to both IPV and suicidal ideation or attempt histories.

 It is vital that society encourages groups that work with victims of IPV to foster the theme of early intervention. This means identifying and intervening early on in abuse to break the cycle of violence, by forestalling future involvement in abusive relationships. Based on the findings from our study, we champion the idea of holistic support, which is a comprehensive support network used to address trauma and victimization and empower survivors on their path to healing and resilience. This study’s insights into the interplay of factors and IPV victimization underline the demand for targeted strategies, interdisciplinary teamwork, and the creation of inclusive and secure environments. This commitment ensures the well-being of all individuals, irrespective of their racial or ethnic backgrounds.


 This study supports the robust relationship between low self-control and IPV victimization. However, the impact of assimilation on this association is negligible. The findings can fill the gaps in the literature, but our study is not without limitations. First, this research used publicly available data with a limited number of variables. Although language is one of the key indicators of assimilation, a broader range of factors should be used to measure other aspects of the assimilation process. For example, interracial marriage, geographic mobility, and food are additional aspects of assimilation that may be considered. In addition, researchers have found that genetic factors play a role in shaping individuals’ behaviors, especially low self-control (Willems et al., 2019), but we are unable to incorporate genetic information due to the limitations of the publicly available data. Future research should include genetic information to better predict IPV victimization. Last, the reliability scores of the two victimization scales are .71 and .67, which are relatively low. Future studies should employ better indicators to measure individuals’ general victimization experience.



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