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Journal Article


Keenan CK, El-Hadad A, Balian SA. J. Nurs. Scholarsh. 1998; 30(4): 357-362.


(Copyright © 1998, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing)






Purpose: To analyze the cultural context of domestic violence in low-income Moslem and Christian-Armenian families living in Lebanon. Analysis also included an identification of family stressors, conflict management strategies, and Moslem and Christian-Armenian cultural differences. The study was part of a larger project designed to identify patterns of wife and child abuse in low-income Middle Eastern families living in Lebanon and Egypt.Design: Qualitative content analysis of descriptive narratives by 60 low-income women who self-reported spouse abuse in two urban Lebanese clinics during a 2-month period in 1992.Methods: Narratives describing exemplary incidents were obtained during a semi-structured interview and recorded in the participant's native language then translated to English for coding and content analysis.Findings: Contextual factors for violence included unmet gender role expectations, conflict with husband's relatives, and alcohol abuse. Family stressors were: emotional, financial, and work. Women used three types of conflict management: negotiation, taking initiative, and passive resignation.Conclusion: From a cultural perspective, the analysis revealed both strengths and vulnerabilities of Lebanese women who experienced domestic violence. The study raised several questions, including whether it is appropriate to apply Western-generated domestic violence theories to a Middle Eastern population. Culturally-specific nursing interventions should be directed toward bolstering strong family and social resources to cope with family stressors and to modify patterns of maladaptive communication.

Language: en


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