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 journalArticle

15 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 - Jan 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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