Latino Mother/Daughter Dyadic Attachment as a Mediator for Substance Use Disorder and Emotional Abuse

J Immigr Minor Health. 2016 Aug;18(4):896-903. doi: 10.1007/s10903-015-0312-z.


To date, no 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 % of mothers and 24.1 % of daughters abused drugs; and, 19.5 % 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.

Keywords: Dyadic attachment; Emotional abuse; Latinos; Substance use disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Children / ethnology*
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / ethnology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mother-Child Relations / ethnology*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / ethnology*