Sexual violence against adolescent girls: Influences of immigration and acculturation

Michele R. Decker, Anita Raj, Jay G. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


This study investigates associations between immigration and acculturation with sexual assault among a large, representative sample of high school girls. The analysis utilized data from the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Surveys conducted in 1999, 2001, and 2003 (N = 5,919). Adjusted logistic regression analyses were conducted among the full sample and a sexually active subsample. Being an immigrant was associated with recurring sexual assault victimization; this effect was not consistent across age and racial/ethnic groups. Immigrant status conferred risk among adolescent girls aged 15 and younger, Black adolescent girls, and sexually active Hispanic girls. No differences were detected in sexual assault victimization based on acculturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-513
Number of pages16
JournalViolence Against Women
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent health
  • Health disparities
  • Immigration
  • Sexual assault

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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