Risks for abuse against pregnant Hispanic women: Morelos, Mexico and Los Angeles County, California

Roberto Castro, Corinne Peek-Asa, Lorena Garcia, Agustín Ruiz, Jess F. Kraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background: Although violence against women is gaining international attention as a prevention priority, little is known about how risks differ across countries. Methods: A comparative study of violence against pregnant Mexican women in Morelos, Mexico, and Latina women in Los Angeles County, California, United States. In 1998 and 1999, women in prenatal clinics were interviewed about psychological abuse and sexual and physical violence by their partner, during and the 1 year prior to the index pregnancy. The overall response rate for Morelos was 99%, with a sample size of 914; Los Angeles County had a response rate of 96.9%, with a sample size of 219. Results: Women in Morelos reported a higher prevalence of violence compared to women in the California (14.8% v 11.9%, respectively). A partner aged <20 years was associated with increased violence in both countries, but the association of violence with other socioeconomic factors differed by country. For example, employed women had higher odds of violence in California but lower odds in Morelos. Women who experienced violence during both the year prior to pregnancy and as a child were more than 25 times more likely to be abused during pregnancy than women not reporting this type of abuse. Conclusion: The identification of factors associated with violence against women, especially as they differ by culture and ethnicity, will help clinicians to better identify victims and to design and implement culturally appropriate prevention programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-332
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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