Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Grace Telesco

Committee Member

Latoya Blount

Committee Member

Miltonette Craig


There has been a great amount of research conducted on women around the world, but limited focus has been placed on the countries of West Africa. The purpose of this mixed-method study was to gain insight into first-generation women of West African descent living in the United States and identify the key risk factors for victimization. The focus of this study was first-generation American women of West African descent. The study was conducted to identify the cultural/social norms and differences (e.g., lack of language skills, dependence on their spouse, etc.) that shape their experience with Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). The findings showed that first-generation born American women of West African descendent believed that the culture influenced their interpersonal relationships and with whom they entered into relationships. The women expressed the importance of preserving culture by thinking ahead to their future children. Also, marriage is an important ritual in African culture and is more important than the traditional American wedding in America. Intimate partner violence is normalized in some of the West African countries due to wanting to respect the men, but many first-generation born American women understand the wrong in IPV.

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