ASPPH logo


Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Florida International Researchers Find Mother-Daughter Relationship a Factor in Substance Abuse among Latinas

Researchers at the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work and the Center for Research on U.S. Latino HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse at Florida International University have published the study, Latino Mother/Daughter Dyadic Attachment as a Mediator for Substance Use Disorder and Emotional Abuse, which recommends incorporating a family abuse component into drug rehabilitation programs.

The FIU researchers for this study include: Dr. Mario De La Rosa, Dr. Mary Jo Trepka, Miguel Angel Cano, Dr. Mariano J. Kanamori Nishimura, Dr. Patria Rojas and Ms. Jessica A. Weissman, a graduate research fellow and PhD student at the FIU Stempel College.

To date, no previous studies have investigated emotional abuse of adult Latina women by their mothers despite evidence that emotional maternal abuse may significantly contribute to the emotional abuse experienced by Latina women in their lifetime. Cross-sectional data including 316 women was analyzed using mediation and logistic regression. Overall, 7.1 percent of mothers and 24.1 percent of daughters abused drugs; and, 19.5 percent of daughters were emotionally abused by their mothers. Mother’s attachment to her daughter mediated the association between mother’s drug abuse and emotionally abusing her adult daughter (indirect effect: 0.863).

Latina women can serve as perpetrators of emotional abuse of their adult children. Since drug-abusing daughters are more likely to be victims of emotional abuse by their mothers and drug-abusing mothers are more likely to abuse their daughters, drug-rehabilitation practitioners should incorporate a family abuse component into rehabilitation programs.

Read more: