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Tangled in a web of affiliation

Social support networks of dually diagnosed women who are trauma survivors

Abstract

The goal of this article is to describe the social support networks of women with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health problems who are survivors of interpersonal abuse, using baseline interview data from 2 sites (n=644) from the national Women Co-occurring Disorders and Violence Study. The size and composition of women's networks, the tangible and socioemotional support available, and the stance of the support network toward substance use, treatment, and trauma are described. Family members are described by women as offering less emotional support and less encouragement for healing from trauma than friends. Analyses demonstrated only modest support in either sample for the hypothesis that support network characteristics moderate the effects of traumatic stress on mental health and trauma symptoms among these samples of very burdened and poor women. The results point to the need for using caution in relying on women's existing social support network to help them heal.

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Correspondence to Andrea Savage PhD.

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Savage, A., Savage, A. & Russell, L.A. Tangled in a web of affiliation. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research 32, 199–214 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02287267

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02287267

Keywords

  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse
  • Mental Health Problem
  • Support Network
  • Traumatic Stress