Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Science

Dissertation Committee

Diane C. Hatton, RN, CS, DNSc, Chair; Mary Ann Hautman, RN, PhD; Mary Woods Scherr, PhD


Domestic violence, families & family life, Hispanic Americans, nursing, Sociocultural


The purpose of this study was to explore the sociocultural factors which play a role in the process of ending an abusive relationship among Latinas. Dimensional analysis was the method employed for the development of a grounded theory. Aguantando or enduring emerged from this study as pivotal in gaining an understanding of the process of ending an abusive relationship for Latinas. Participants indicated that personal and religious beliefs, the importance of family, and the needs of their children were reasons for aguantando or enduring the abuse. The decision to no longer aguantar, or endure, occurred through a series of encounters with "allies", the loss of hope their partner was going to change his abusive behavior, and the final realization that the well-being of the children was being affected by the abuse. These conditions led Latinas to take action by hasta aqui or drawing the line. Through their relationships with "allies," Latinas recognized their potential to salir adelante or forge ahead. Findings in this study indicate that familialism played a major role in the decision to stay or leave an abusive relationship. Family members supported Latinas leaving their abusive partners. Latinas often did not initiate plans to end an abusive relationship until effects of the abuse became evident in the children's behavior. Interventions and outreach programs integrating these findings are proposed for the Latino community. Future research investigating the applicability of current theoretical models of domestic violence to the Latino population are proposed.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons