Abstract: Drug Use, Mental Health, Culture and Gender Based Violence: Results from an Exploratory Study Among Men in Residential Treatment (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

284P Drug Use, Mental Health, Culture and Gender Based Violence: Results from an Exploratory Study Among Men in Residential Treatment

Friday, January 18, 2019
Continental Parlors 1-3, Ballroom Level (Hilton San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Laura Ting, PhD, Associate Professor, Social Work, Baltimore, MD
Subadra Panchanadeswaran, PhD, Associate Professor, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY
Beverly Araujo-Dawson, PhD, Professor, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY
Gender based violence is a pervasive societal problem and social justice issue; research evidence has found significant associations of alcohol and substance use with male perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV). Additional risk factors for perpetration are lower education, income, and underemployment, and for immigrant populations, include acculturation stress, cultural and gender role norms and perceived discrimination. Given the growing Latino population in the U.S., and the limited knowledge on Latino male IPV perpetration and substance use, this exploratory study compared the prevalence of IPV perpetration, victimization, mental health problems and perceived discrimination in a sample of Latino and non-Latino men in treatment for substance use, and examined factors predictive of IPV perpetration in the Latino subsample.  

This cross-sectional study assessed a convenience sample of 282 men in residential treatment at baseline using self-report standardized measures (e.g. CES-Depression; GAD-7; PC-PTSD; BSI; URICA). The mean age was 42 years (SD =11); 73% were U.S. born, with 54.6% Latino. Over 50% reported severe anxiety, 72% screened in for depression, and 40% met PTSD criteria. Significantly, 75.9% reported perpetrating physical, psychological or sexual abuse over their lifetime with current or past partners and 78.4% reported victimization by a partner. Multiple GLMs compared the two groups.

On demographic variables, the only significant difference between the Latino (n=154) and non-Latino group was education. On mental health, while there were no differences between groups on anxiety, depression, self-esteem and overall brief mental health symptoms, the Latino group reported significantly less PTSD symptoms and perceived discrimination. The Latino group had lower AUDIT scores, but no other differences existed for frequency and consequences of alcohol use. On drug usage, the Latino group were less likely to smoke PCP/Angel dust, use amphetamines, hallucinogens or sedatives, but more frequently used drugs in the past 6 months; there were no differences on overall number of types of drugs used over the lifetime. The groups did not differ on perceived social supports, spirituality and motivation to change, or on current or lifetime levels of IPV perpetration and victimization.

Hierarchical multiple regression tested whether demographic factors, alcohol use severity, type and frequency of drugs used, mental health factors and frequency of perceived discrimination predicted amount of lifetime IPV perpetration in the Latino group. The overall model was significant accounting for 29.1% of the variance, F(3, 122) = 9.82, p < .001. The lifetime number of types of drugs used, and the frequency of drugs used in the past 6 months increased the likelihood of IPV perpetration. Other predictors were non-significant.

The high rates of mental health problems, IPV perpetration and victimization in the overall and Latino sample reinforce the need for comprehensive assessments in treatment settings for co-occurring issues. Results support prior research that substance use is an associated risk factor for IPV perpetration and have implications for clinical practice. Future research need to further examine factors of culture and role expectations among the Latino populations in order to more fully address IPV perpetration and explore nuances in gender based violence.