The Cultural Influences on Help-seeking Among a National Sample of Victimized Latino Women

Chiara Sabina, Carlos A. Cuevas, Jennifer L. Schally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The current study examined the influence of legal status and cultural variables (i. e., acculturation, gender role ideology and religious coping) on the formal and informal help-seeking efforts of Latino women who experienced interpersonal victimization. The sample was drawn from the Sexual Assault Among Latinas (SALAS) Study that surveyed 2,000 self-identified adult Latino women. The random digit dial methodology employed in high-density Latino neighborhoods resulted in a cooperation rate of 53. 7%. Women who experienced lifetime victimization (n = 714) reported help-seeking efforts in response to their most distressful victimization event that occurred in the US. Approximately one-third of the women reported formal help-seeking and about 70% of women reported informal help-seeking. Help-seeking responses were generally not predicted by the cultural factors measured, with some exceptions. Anglo orientation and negative religious coping increased the likelihood of formal help-seeking. Positive religious coping, masculine gender role and Anglo acculturation increased the likelihood of specific forms of informal help-seeking. Latino orientation decreased the likelihood of talking to a sibling. Overall, these findings reinforce the importance of bilingual culturally competent services as cultural factors shape the ways in which women respond to victimization either formally or within their social networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-363
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Acculturation
  • Help-seeking
  • Latinas
  • Victimization


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