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Keywords:

  • intimate partner violence;
  • domestic abuse;
  • motherhood;
  • mothering;
  • decision-making;
  • healthcare;
  • qualitative research;
  • Latina;
  • immigrant;
  • culture

Abstract

Healthcare providers (HCPs) may be perplexed by the decision-making processes of battered Latino women in situations involving intimate partner violence (IPV). In particular, decisions may appear contradictory and hazardous to the women's children. The findings of this interpretive descriptive study reveal that the mothering role was central to battered Latina mothers' decisions. The mothers strove to prioritize, protect, and provide for their children in every way, including managing the abuse and avoiding IPV disclosure to HCPs. Disparate understandings of the women's decisions and mothering create a Catch-22 between battered Latina mothers and their HCPs. A trusting mother-HCP relationship is necessary for effective screening and intervention for IPV. This requires HCPs' understanding of these mothers' decisions and changes in clinical practice. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 32:286–297, 2009