Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-27-2011


abuse, alcohol, domestic violence, indigenous populations, intimate partner violence, Panamá, risk factors for violence


Indigenous communities in the Chiriqui province of Panamá, Central America, the Ngöbe and Buglé tribes, identified a growing problem with alcohol abuse and intimate partner violence (IPV). The College of Nursing at the University of South Florida was invited to conduct research to determine the extent of the problem and to assist with community intervention development. A descriptive correlational study adapting an interview-style survey from the 2005 World Health Organization‟s “Multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence against women: Summary report of initial results on prevalence, health outcomes and women’s responses” was conducted to provide baseline research that identifies the extent of IPV, its qualities and risk factors. Results illustrate a correlation between alcohol and intimate partner violence in each population, along with strong correlations between alcohol abuse, IPV, education level, number of pregnancies, and number of living children. A strong cry for help was heard from the interviewed women themselves. No clear resources were identified by the women although family seems the current strongest support system. Our work to increase the awareness of this issue will impact future prevalence and development of community-based interventions for such a unique population.


Social Sciences