Category: Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders and Disasters

PS13- #C79 - Binge Drinking and Substance Use as a Noderator of the Psychological Intimate Partner Violence-Physical Functioning Association Between Genders

Saturday, Nov 18
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Intimate Partner Aggression | Addictive Behaviors | Risk / Vulnerability Factors

Psychological Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is associated with poorer physical health and research concerning potential moderators is needed (e.g., Follingstad, 2009). Substance use or binge drinking may serve as a risk factor for the psychological IPV- physical functioning relation in that drinking and drug use may serve as a maladaptive coping strategy for IPV (Margolin et al., 2013). In support, alcohol misuse in women moderated the association between psychological IPV and postpartum depression (Hellmuth et al., 2014). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine whether substance use and binge drinking moderated the association between psychological IPV and physical functioning, after controlling for childhood trauma. This study also addressed a limitation of previous research in that both men and women were included. Most previous research focused mostly upon women (Copp et al., 2016), despite some evidence that men are victims of psychological IPV at relatively high rates (Black et al., 2011). It was hypothesized that substance use and binge drinking would serve as risk factors, potentiating the inverse association between recent psychological IPV and physical functioning. Gender differences were explored. Participants were 410 predominantly female (72%) Caucasian (78%) undergraduate students with a mean age of 19.9 (SD= 3.3) years, who completed the Life Stressor Checklist – Revised (LSC-R), Multidimensional Measure of Emotional Abuse, the SF-36, and a questionnaire concerning alcohol and substance use. Multiple regression analyses with follow-up simple slope analyses were conducted. Controlling for childhood trauma, recent binge drinking and substance use moderated the association between psychological IPV and physical functioning, but the patterns differed by gender. For men, there was no association between psychological IPV and physical functioning when they engaged in more substance use and binge drinking over the past 30 days. However, when substance use and binge drinking were low or nonexistent, there was an inverse association between psychological IPV and physical functioning. It appears that substance use served an ameliorative function for men who experienced recent psychological IPV, promoting better self-reported physical functioning. For women, the opposite pattern was found. There was no association between psychological IPV and physical functioning when they engaged in little substance use or drinking. Contrarily, when they reported more substance use and binge drinking, there was an inverse association between psychological IPV and physical functioning. Substance use and binge drinking served as a risk factor for women who experienced recent psychological IPV, in that IPV was only associated with negative self-reported physical functioning when women engaged in substance use and binge drinking. The results indicated that men who experience psychological IPV may identify recent substance use and binge drinking as functional, promoting better self-reported physical functioning, at least in the short term. These findings have treatment implications and highlight the need for longer term research to determine if these associations remain over time.

Monique LeBlanc

Associate Professor
Southeastern Louisiana University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Corby Martin

Pennington Biomedical Research Center