Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Criminal Justice


Amy Adamczyk

Committee Members

Hung-En Sung

Rosemary Barberet

Subject Categories

Criminology and Criminal Justice


Intimate Partner Violence, Korean Immigrant Women, Acculturative Stress, Social Isolation, Patriarchal Gender Role Values, Mixed Methods


Objective: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious social problem. Due to the underutilization of public and private human and social services due to language barriers, their illegal status, and stigma associated with violence, both victims and offenders of intimate partner violence are rarely captured by either the criminal justice system or public health radar screens (Hicks & Li, 2003). Also, the “model minority myth” has led to the underestimation of the risk of violence against women among Asian immigrants and thus leads to an underinvestment of research and service resources for this vulnerable population (Leong & Lau, 2001; Rhee, 1997; Yick, 2007). Thus, IPV among Korean immigrants are rarely investigated. This study seeks to assess intimate partner violence (IPV) and their psycho-cultural as well as situational risk factors among Korean immigrants in the Korean-American community.

Methods: Mixed methods using quantitative and qualitative study components have been utilized. Using a case-control design, I compared 64 Korean immigrant women who have experienced IPV in the past year with 63 Korean immigrant women who have never experienced IPV in their lifetime. Also, using nested design, 16 in depths interviews with IPV victims were conducted of the survey participants.

Results: Quantitative study reveals that IPV victims, compared with non-victims, experienced higher level of acculturative stress and have patriarchal gender role values and narrow social networks. Through the qualitative study, 12 different themes - Legal Status Dependency, Financial Dependency, Social or Emotional Dependency, Saving face, Self-Isolation, Online Social Networks, Stress and Frustration in Offenders, Victims’ Stress and Frustrations, Patriarchal values held by victims, victims’ families and the community, Gender Role Conflicts, Conservative attitudes in abusers – related to four research questions in this study were discovered.

Conclusions: Acculturative stress, conservative gender role values and narrow social networks were risk factors of IPV among Korean immigrant women. To prevent their IPV victimization among Korean immigrants, I have suggested various policy implications.