Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Dr. Rachel Rayburn

Second Advisor

Dr. Rosalva Resendiz

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul Sale


Mexican culture along the border towns of the Rio Grande dominates views towards women and men experiencing violence in intimate relationships. However, there is a paucity of empirical studies relating to intimate partner violence in the Rio Grande Valley. This study addresses the dynamics of abusive relationship in a Hispanic community that can be influenced by cultural concepts such as familism and marianismo. The author utilized a mixed methods approach for this study that included a sample of (n = 513) surveys and (n = 13) interviews that were analyzed separately. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to assess the correlations of the variables with intimate partner violence. Furthermore, types of violence were analyzed within genders, as well as the difficulty to disclose their victimization to others. Results indicated that there was a significant relationship between Marianismo, and the barriers victims face when seeking help. Interview data indicated that societal norms greatly influenced a person’s decision to disclose of their abuse. Additionally, psychological abuse and sexual assault are greatly significant in a person’s decisions not to report their victimization. Study findings assist in informing the youth and community about the dynamics of violence, improve law enforcement response, and change attitudes about dating violence within the Hispanic community.


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