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Indo-Canadian men’s perceptions of major influences on their abusive behaviour towards their wives Brierton, Joseph, Iona

Abstract

Violence in families has been identified as a major social and public health concern (Humphreys & Fulmer, 1993). There is limited information on family violence within specific cultural groups. Of the literature available, the major focus is primarily on the abuse of women and children, while there is very little literature pertaining to the men who are the perpetrators of abuse. Furthermore, there is even less research literature focusing on how cultural values, beliefs and other factors may influence an abuser's behaviour. Police records indicate that violence within the Indo-Canadian community in British Columbia is a concern. The Indo-Canadian population comprises one of the largest minority groups in the Lower Mainland area of British Columbia. It is projected that by the year 2000, 39% of the Vancouver population will be Indo-Canadian (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 1992). The purpose of this study was to describe Indo-Canadian male abuser's perceptions of major influences on their abusive behaviour towards their wives. An understanding of these perceptions and factors contributing to male violence with the Indo-Canadian culture was studied and obtained. Three participants from an 'Assaultive Men's Program' who had been charged with abusing their wives, volunteered for this study. A qualitative, descriptive method formed in the context of the social interactionist approach to violence was used to direct this study. Data for this qualitative study was analyzed using a process of (inductive) content analysis. Two major categories (concepts) emerged from the data: 1) the acculturation process and 2) family life. Each of these categories also had separate themes. The acculturation process that the participants experienced was described within two separate themes: 1) work related stressors and 2) feelings of isolation. The family life category was also described within four separate themes: 1) changing family structure, 2) family expectations and values, 3) the nature of communication, and 4) decision-making. Further discussion related to these themes is highlighted and the implications for nursing of practice, education and research were identified.

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