<i>Hombres en Acciòn (Men in Action)</i>: A Community Defined Domestic Violence Intervention with Mexican Immigrant Men
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Studies suggest that knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about domestic violence influence the behaviors of Mexican men. However, few interventions have targeted men in efforts to provide domestic violence awareness and health education to a relevant at-risk community that is also challenged by low literacy. Mexican immigrant men, particularly those less acculturated to the dominant U.S. culture, are significantly less likely to access services and more likely to remain isolated and removed from their communities and, more importantly, from their families.
The purpose of this study was to explore and examine how cultural beliefs and behaviors influence the potential of domestic violence from the perspective of the Mexican origin, male immigrant. The research drew on existing community academic partnerships to collaboratively develop a pilot intervention that uses popular education techniques and a Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) framework. The specific aims were: (1) to use the principles and practices of CBPR to ensure that the issues addressed and results obtained are relevant to Latinos in Multnomah County, (2) to identify the beliefs, attitudes, and culture about domestic violence and male health for a population of men who are immigrants and of Mexican origin, (3) to develop and prioritize intervention strategies that are community defined, (4) to implement and evaluate a four week pilot project that utilizes community defined, literacy independent curriculum and popular education techniques to address male and family wellness and the prevention of domestic violence.
Nine men participated in this study who reported inadequate or marginal functional literacy at approximately a 4.5 grade level. The findings also revealed a strong consensus among the participants‘ that there is confusion surrounding what constitutes domestic violence and/or what behaviors and social barriers place them at risk for health conditions.
In summary, we found that the domestic violence in the Latino communities cannot be approached as a single issue; it needs to be embraced from a wellness perspective and the impact of domestic violence and health knowledge is navigated by experiences of one‘s past and present. Combining the tools of CBPR with the tools of popular education may allow researchers to address the Latino male‘s concerns with literacy while also examining other, less immediately visible, concerns. When you take the focus off such a delicate subject such as domestic violence and reframe the issue in terms of holistic health, you will then find a more cooperative and less defensive population to work with.
Hispanic American studies
0525: Educational psychology
0631: Ethnic studies
0737: Hispanic American studies