The Role of Social Support in the Link Between Economic Abuse and Economic Hardship

  • Rachel J. Voth SchragEmail author
  • Kristen E. Ravi
  • Sarah R. Robinson
Original Article


More data is needed about the pathways through which intimate partner violence (IPV) impacts the economic well-being of survivors. The current study assesses the moderating influence of social support on the association between economic abuse (EA) and economic hardship. Female participants (n = 435) were recruited to participate in a web-based survey which included standardized measures of EA, other forms of IPV, domains of social support, and economic hardship. Analysis included bivariate and multivariate regression with an investigation into interaction effects.Experiencing EA was significantly correlated with economic hardship, even with extent of physical and emotional IPV controlled. Both tangible and appraisal support had significant negative association with extent of material hardship. Significant interactions between forms of social support and economic abuse were observed. For those at high levels of economic abuse, support had less influence on economic hardship. A mix of direct economic aid, advocacy, education and support could provide a blueprint for addressing the economic hardship experiences of community-dwelling survivors of economic abuse. A comprehensive response to EA requires interventions aimed directly at economically controlling and exploitative tactics, including credit building, individual economic advocacy, and education. Interventions that seek to enhance survivors’ access to social support may be necessary but not sufficient to buffer the impacts of violence on survivors’ economic outcomes.


Domestic violence Economic abuse Material hardship Economic security Social support 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of Texas-ArlingtonArlingtonUSA

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