Anxiety and posttraumatic stress symptom pathways to substance use problems among community women experiencing intimate partner violence

Background and objectives: Although intimate partner violence (IPV) has demonstrated strong associations with anxiety and posttraumatic stress, these constructs have rarely been examined simultaneously in IPV research. Gaps in knowledge remain as to their differential associations to substance use problems among IPV-victimized women. Design: A sample of 143 community women self-reported on their current IPV victimization, mental health and substance use problems. Method: Hierarchical entry multiple regressions were used to test for the direct and indirect effects of psychological, physical, and sexual IPV to alcohol and drug problems through anxiety and posttraumatic stress. Results: Higher anxiety symptom severity and higher physical IPV severity were associated with greater alcohol and drug problems. Higher posttraumatic stress symptom severity was associated with greater alcohol and drug problems. Mediation analyses indicated (i) significant indirect pathways of IPV types to alcohol problems through posttraumatic stress symptom severity controlling for anxiety symptom severity and (ii) significant indirect pathways of IPV types to drug problems through anxiety symptom severity controlling for posttraumatic stress symptom severity. Conclusions: In examining the indirect pathways of psychological, physical, and sexual IPV to substance use problems this study highlights that anxiety and posttraumatic stress symptom severity have unique effects on alcohol and drug problems among IPV-victimized women.

Reference: 
Véronique Jaquiera, Julianne C. Flanaganb, Tami P. Sullivana | 2015
In: Anxiety, stress and coping, ISSN 1061-5806 | 28 | 4 | 445-455
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10615806.2014.968562#.VbiniDbCSmx