Mother-daughter attachment and drug abuse among Latinas in the United States

Mario De La Rosa, Frank R. Dillon, N. Emel Ganapati, Patria Rojas, Elsa Pinto, Guillermo Prado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Although the risks and protective processes influencing substance use behaviors of adult Latinos have been increasingly examined in the literature, substance abuse among adult Latinas remains a relatively understudied area. This study examined associations between mother-daughter attachment and substance abuse among 158 Latina mothers and their adult daughters (N = 316). Dyads of mothers and daughters were categorized into four groups: (a) mother/daughter both drug or alcohol abusers (Dyad 1), (b) mother abuser and daughter non-abuser (Dyad 2), (c) mother non-abuser and daughter abuser (Dyad 3), and (d) mother/daughter both non-abusers (Dyad 4). Dyad 1 participants reported lower levels of attachment to each other than all other types of dyads. Participants born in the U.S. reported more substance abuse than their non-U.S. born counterparts. Future longitudinal research is recommended to determine the presence of a mother-daughter attachment threshold that, if established early and maintained, may act as a protective mechanism against the intergenerational co-occurrence of substance abuse among adult Latinas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-404
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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