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Relationships Among Women's Use of Aggression, Their Victimization, and Substance Use Problems: A Test of the Moderating Effects of Race/Ethnicity

NCJ Number
Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma Volume: 18 Issue: 6 Dated: September 2009 Pages: 646-666
Date Published
September 2009
21 pages

This study examined whether relationships among women's aggression, their victimization, and substance use problems were moderated by race/ethnicity.


Among women who recently were aggressive against their intimate partners, important differences among racial/ethnic groups emerged regarding levels of victimization, number of alcohol and drug use problems, and use of aggressive behavior. Furthermore, race/ethnicity moderated relationships between victimization and both alcohol and drug use problems. Racial/ethnic groups differed in their use of aggression as well as in their experiences of victimization. African-American and White women had comparable and higher levels of victimization than Latina women, while African-American and Latina women had comparable and higher levels of aggression than White women. Differences were evident regarding substance use problems with African-American women having the greatest number of alcohol use problems, while African-American and White women had comparable and higher numbers of drug use problems than Latina women. Only one significant relationship between variables existed for all groups: women's victimization was strongly related to their use of aggression, a finding that is in line with previous research. The relationships between victimization and substance use problems were moderated by racial/ethnic group: African-American and Latina women's victimization was related to both their alcohol and drug use problems, while White women's victimization was unrelated to either their alcohol or drug use problems. Data were collected from 412 community women (150 African-Americans, 150 Latina, and 112 Whites) who were recently aggressive against a male partner. Tables, figures, and references

Date Published: September 1, 2009