Risk and Protective Factors Affecting Navajo Women's Drinking Patterns

Joanne McCloskey

in Drinking, Conduct Disorder, and Social Change

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780195136159
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199863921 | DOI:
Risk and Protective Factors Affecting Navajo Women's Drinking Patterns

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Case studies of two alcohol dependent Navajo women and two non-alcohol dependent Navajo women illustrate the risk and protective factors that affect their patterns of alcohol use throughout the life course. During childhood, a mother's drinking, experiencing physical and sexual abuse, and living in a smaller, nuclear family residence may contribute to later problem drinking. In late adolescence and adulthood, a partner who drinks, the experience of domestic violence, and a woman's polysubstance use predict drinking. Personal factors, such as having at least a high school education and steady wage work, promote resiliency. For Navajo women with an alcohol abusing partner, domestic violence becomes a major threat that becomes even greater when she also drinks. Whereas during childhood a mother's drinking increases the likelihood of adult drinking, during adulthood Navajo women's husbands or partners play an influential role.

Keywords: Navajo women; alcohol abuse; risk factors; protective factors; resiliency; physical abuse; sexual abuse

Chapter.  6981 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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