Title

Racial/Ethnic Differences in Alcohol and Drug Misuse Among IPV-Victimized Women: Exploring the Role of Difficulties Regulating Positive Emotions

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

1-1-2020

Abstract

Alcohol and drug misuse is prevalent and problematic among women who experience intimate partner violence (IPV). Emotional dysfunction has been identified as a key mechanism in the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of alcohol and drug misuse. However, existing research has not considered the role of race/ethnicity in the relations between emotional dysfunction and alcohol and drug misuse. Furthermore, past research in this area has focused almost exclusively on emotional dysfunction stemming from negative (vs. positive) emotions. The goals of the current study were as follows: (a) to explore whether levels of difficulties regulating positive emotions differ among Latina, African American, and White IPV-victimized women, and (b) to examine the moderating role of race/ethnicity in the relations between difficulties regulating positive emotions and alcohol and drug misuse. Participants were 197 IPV-victimized women recruited through the criminal justice system (Mage = 36.14; 51.8% African American, 31.5% White, and 16.8% Latina). Difficulties regulating positive emotions did not differ as a function of race/ethnicity. However, relations among difficulties regulating positive emotions and alcohol and drug misuse were significant for Latina and White but not African American IPV-victimized women. Moreover, race/ethnicity moderated an association between difficulties regulating positive emotions and drug misuse; this relation was significant and positive for White (compared with African American) IPV-victimized women. While preliminary, these results may inform culturally sensitive interventions for alcohol and drug misuse that are tailored to the unique needs of Latina, African American, and White IPV-victimized women.

Publication Title

Journal of Interpersonal Violence

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