Predicting Responses of Asian Christian Clergy to Domestic Violence
Hsieh, Ellie Y.
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This study examined how cultural, religious, and demographic factors of Asian Christian clergy affect their perceptions and responses to domestic violence. Their age, years lived in the U.S., amount of pastoral counseling education, adherence to Asian cultural values, gender role beliefs, and degree of religious fundamentalism (n = 72) were assessed using an anonymous questionnaire consisting of multiple-choice items and short-answers. Multiple regression analyses determined that individuals with stronger Asian cultural values and religious fundamentalism were more likely to choose responses that favored the maintenance of patriarchy in the marriage (F = 5.68; p < .001). Also, younger clergy and clergy that lived longer in the U.S. selected responses that were more proactive towards domestic violence (F = 2.54; p < .05). Qualitative analyses of short answer questions revealed that participants are largely aware of how misinterpretations of biblical scriptures may maintain and perpetrate marital violence. They showed a greater interest to counsel violent couples using their own counseling skills or church resources, rather than utilizing external community resources. However, respondents did indicate a willingness to make referrals to community resources outside of the church, especially Christian counselors. This information is especially useful to clinicians that may work with Asian populations and interact with Asian clergy. Awareness of the values and beliefs of Asian Christian clergy can make collaboration with clinicians more productive and increase the effectiveness of responses to cases of domestic violence within Asian church congregations. Moreover, greater cooperation between Asian clergy and clinicians will be useful in preventing the escalation and maintenance of domestic violence.
- Masters Theses