Immigration and intimate partner violence: Exploring the immigrant paradox

Emily M. Wright, Michael L. Benson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Recent evidence indicates that contrary to some criminological theories, immigrants are less violent than native-born Americans. The relationship between immigrant status and reduced violence appears to hold at both the individual and neighborhood levels of analysis. This phenomenon has been referred to as the immigrant or Latino paradox. It has been suggested, although rarely examined, that cultural differences and strong social networks among immigrants account for their lower violence rates. These factors even appear strong enough to counterbalance the crime-promoting effects of economic disadvantage. This study investigates whether such patterns extend to intimate partner violence. Consistent with research on other forms of violence, we fnd that neighborhoods with greater concentrations of immigrants have lower levels of intimate partner violence. This relationship appears to be partially mediated by cultural norms and social ties..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-503
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Problems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Culture
  • Immigration
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Social disorganization
  • Social ties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Immigration and intimate partner violence: Exploring the immigrant paradox'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this