In this paper we aim to describe the beliefs and attitudes young people in Puerto Rico have toward intimate partner violence (IPV). Although Puerto Rico has a high rate of IPV, little empirical research has been conducted about the beliefs and attitudes people have regarding this issue. We conducted 20 in-depth qualitative interviews with young men and women. Data was analyzed using the qualitative content analysis approach. Participants expressed that men are more violent than women because of testosterone, machismo, and alcohol and other drug use. Both male and female participants stated that they believe they have the same rights to make decisions. Participants did not express directly stereotypical attitudes and beliefs that justify IPV. However, there remains a desire in some participants to have control over where their partner is and what he or she is doing. Preventive interventions are urgently needed to promote healthier relationships among young people.


Intimate Partner Violence, Machismo, Qualitative Content Analysis, Puerto Ricans, Young Adults

Author Bio(s)

David Pérez-Jiménez is the acting director of the Institute for Psychological Research at the University of Puerto Rico. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: David Pérez-Jiménez, Institute for Psychological Research, University of Puerto Rico, PO Box 23174, San Juan, PR 00931-3174. E-mail: david.perez8@upr.edu.

Soélix M. Rodríguez-Medina is a member of the Institute for Psychological Research, at the University of Puerto Rico.

Francisco J. Rodríguez-León is a member of the Department of Psychology at the University of Puerto Rico.


The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and or publication of this article: We gratefully acknowledge the support of NIDA training grant R25DA028567 for this research. The contents of this article are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIDA. The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. We thank our research assistants, Ángel A. Méndez Núñez for his contributions during the recruitment process, interviews, transcription, and the creation of the first code book, and students Nicole M. Colón Maldonado and Nahir Rodríguez Hernández for their support in the transcripts of the interviews.

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