Social support, attachment, and chronic stress as correlates of Latina mother and daughter drug use behaviors

Am J Addict. Mar-Apr 2012;21(2):157-67. doi: 10.1111/j.1521-0391.2011.00202.x. Epub 2012 Feb 7.


This cross-sectional study examined three social determinants (sociodemographics, chronic stress, and social support) and the quality of attachment among a community-based sample of Latina mother-daughter dyads (N = 158 dyads) to document the relationship between those factors and their respective drug use. Hypotheses were: (a) the quality of mother-daughter attachment will mediate the relationship between their social support and drug use and (b) the effects of mothers' and daughters' chronic stress on their drug use is mediated by their social support which, in turn, is also mediated by the quality of their attachment after taking into account socio-demographic variables. Structural equation modeling was used with dyads as the units of analyses. Our preliminary results show: (a) transgenerational dyadic concordance among the variables, (b) mothers' higher quality of attachment scores mediated the relationship between their chronic stress and social support scores on their lower drug use scores, and (c) daughters' attachment scores mediated the relationship between their social support scores and their lower drug use scores. Limitations are discussed. Our preliminary results provide a useful first step towards understanding the processes linking stress, social support, and attachment with drug use behaviors among Latina mothers and daughters from a culturally relevant and transgenerational perspective.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Culture
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mother-Child Relations / ethnology*
  • Object Attachment*
  • Social Support*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*